Building bylaws from scratch or revising an existing set is a tedious but critical task.
It’s easy to get tired of the job and just rush through some spots.
It’s all too tempting to imagine that whoever does the job the next time can address those details. However, there is no point in skipping over the easy parts (or the hard parts) and, what’s more, the more complicated parts will be the ones you’ll need in a crisis. Besides as you will learn, finding people to do the job isn’t easy.
What to do?
Here are a couple of tips for getting through your adventure
- One person should not do all the work of writing your bylaws. It’s a real burden. And worse, it could be a real problem for the organization when only one person has their hands in that pot. Oh, the mistakes she could make and the liberties she could take.
- Particularly because (this is what we call an “elephant in the corner,” the thing no one talks about) when only one person knows what’s in the bylaws, that person has tremendous power in the organization. It’s like playing Monopoly with a bunch of people but only one person knows the rules. And generally, that guy doesn’t share them well. (Four years after I did the work for that organization, and after I’d left the organization, I still get calls from people asking, “What do the bylaws say about…?” That, my friends, is very scary!)
- Depending on your organization, that power can be underutilized or wielded like a very big stick. If no one knows the rules, the board spends time every time deciding how to decide. What a waste of time! If one person THINKS he knows the rules, then sometimes you make bad decisions based on in accurate information. Also a recipe for problems.
- And finally, get help! Someone who sees the whole process, knows how far along your team really is, and how far there is to go, is key in keeping the project moving forward. Building bylaws from scratch or revising an existing set are tedious tasks – critical, but often tedious. It’s easy to get tired of the job and just rush through some spots. You think they’ll look at those spots the next time, but finding people to do the job is never easy and that project will keep getting put off.
If you commit to the task, then do it. Finish it.
Need help? Contact me.
I love this stuff!