Posts Tagged ‘Talbott Talent’


A New Game Plan

Last week, the Society of Professional Journalists kicked off a new game plan designed to take us to a higher league. After weeks of debating our executive director search and plans for the interim period, our newly-hired consultants, Talbott Talent, met with the staff and the executive director search committee.

I was on hand to introduce the Talbott team to the staff on Tuesday and Wednesday. Leah York, Talbott Talent’s president, was at our headquarters on Transition Day One to discuss the consultant-led executive search process. Heather Rolinski, Talbott’s director of organizational effectiveness, was there both days to answer questions about how she will conduct the on-site organizational assessment that will provide a roadmap for our future executive director. We talked about the timeline and how we will gather input from the staff, the boards of directors of both the Society and Foundation, and our membership.

On Thursday, Leah held a video conference call to go over the procedures and the timeline for the executive search with the members of the Executive Director Search Committee. As previously reported in this column, that committee is being chaired by our foundation board’s vice president, Hagit Limor, and includes Dr. Battinto L. Batts, Jr., Michael Bolden, Irwin Gratz, Matt Hall, Patti Gallagher Newberry, and your’s truly.

Finally, on Friday, the Long-term Strategic Planning Task Force, which I appointed earlier this year, talked about how a membership survey could help inform the executive director search. This task force is being chaired by Victor Hernandez and includes April Bethea, Patti Gallagher Newberry, Mike Reilley, Jennifer Royer, Yvette Walker, and myself.

July will be a defining month. After meeting one-on-one with all of our employees in the coming weeks, Heather will draft a survey tailored to our needs at HQ. Simultaneously, Talbott will conduct another survey of both boards looking at how we see the new executive director’s immediate challenges as well as our long-term goals for the organization. While the consultants are busily polling our board and staff, our strategic planning task force will be drafting a survey for our membership to see where you’d like us to lead SPJ.

In short, we’ll be taking the next month to tap into the collective hopes of all of our stakeholders to define what sort of leader should guide us into a brighter future. All of this will inform the position profile that defines our next executive director.

Finally, we will hold a public comment period on Saturday, July 13 to hear from members about the qualities that you think are most important in our next executive director. This will take place at noon on the East Coast. We’ll have half an hour, at which point the executive committee will need to hold a private conversation to discuss the awards we’ll give out at our upcoming convention in San Antonio. To join the public comment period about our next executive director on July 13, click here.

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