High-Performing Executive Committees

09_CS-Apr'16

High-performing executive committees can make all the difference in achieving the targets and objectives of the owners corporation.  In this fact sheet, we discuss the characteristics of non-performing versus high-performing executive committees………which best describes your executive committee?

Characteristics of non-performing executive committees

They don’t understand their roles and responsibilities

Executive committee members don’t understand the responsibilities of the office bearers, their obligations to the owners corporation and the legalities of their positions.

They are disorganised or in conflict

When new executive committee members attend meetings only to find they have no clear agendas, meetings running well over time or other members in regular conflict, they will be unlikely to choose

to participate or volunteer in future years.  Therefore, this leaves the same group going through the same motions in a vicious cycle.

Some members have individual agendas

There is no commitment to the community of the owners corporation as a whole.  Executive committee members involve themselves purely for self-gain to resolve individual issues and will then retire once achieved.  They give no consideration for the ‘common-good’.  Similarly, some hold conflict of interests whereby they, their family or friends are engaged in contractual work on behalf of the owners corporation and this is abused by an owner for personal gain.

No recruitment process to attract new members

It is left until the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to recruit new members.  Potential candidates are generally unaware of the roles and responsibilities of participation.  They will either fail to volunteer because of the unknown, or agree to participate with no guidance or understanding of their responsibilities which results in poor performance.

History of inactivity

If there has been a history of inactivity by previous executive committees, and this has now resulted in a long list of problems that require swift resolution, potential candidates may be turned-off feeling that they have been brought in to ‘clean up the mess’.

Negative culture

A new member may join the executive committee but has difficulty infiltrating established relationships between other members to the point that they feel excluded.  This can be intentional or unintentional by existing members.  For example, failing to include new members on all email communications or failing to invite them to informal meetings.

Difficult to remove in-active members

Fellow executive committee members are reluctant to ask their peers to retire from the executive committee.  This can restrict new members joining and it perpetuates the status-quo of non-performance.  This is not attractive to potential candidates.

Legislation may stipulate 72 hours (for an executive committee meeting) but a complex meeting should be afforded more time than this so that they may assess the information and seek clarification prior to the meeting if necessary.

Meetings are undesirable

Meetings held on-site on common property may not be conducive to the facilitation of a meeting.  Meetings may be held late in the

evening when some members have family obligations, or held during the day when members have work obligations.  The executive committee must be sensitive to the needs of all members.

Obtaining people’s commitment is difficult

With more women in the workplace, and many people working beyond retirement, there is a reduction in the number of potential volunteers.  The sense of community may be lacking for many owners corporations which means many owners are less inclined to commit their precious time and resources for the ‘greater good’.

Characteristics of high-performing executive committees

Active and committed members

All Executive Committee members participate.  They attend the meetings, actively contribute to the discussions and they all are committed to the one vision and not lobbying individual agendas.

Aware of roles and responsibilities

Executive Committee members are educated regarding their roles and responsibilities on behalf of the Owners Corporation.  They are familiar with the legislative and regulatory responsibilities as defined by the Strata Schemes Management Act (1996).

Diversity

There is diversification in terms of skills, expertise, experience (both business and life), age and education.  There needs to be a representation of the community they are working for.

Transparency

The Executive Committee communicates regularly with the Owners Corporation, not just through the distribution of minutes but through newsletters or circulars providing status updates of current work.

Working parties and sub-committees

The establishment of sub-committees can result in Executive Committees achieving greater results as these groups can focus and work through various problems more efficiently and then report back to the Executive Committee as a whole to provide status updates or seek clarification.

Effective meetings

Regular meetings are scheduled in advance throughout the year.  Relevant information is supplied prior to the meeting.  Meetings always achieve a quorum.  They have a clear agenda and only items that appear on the agenda are discussed.  Action items are logged and reported on.  The chairperson has the skills to run the meeting by encouraging discussion and managing conflict if it arises.
Disclaimer: The content of this fact sheet is intended as a guide only and cannot be relied upon for legal advice. Readers should make and rely on their own enquiries regarding all aspects of the material. City Strata disclaims any liability for negligence or otherwise in any way connected with this factsheet.

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