Bylaws and Rules
Bylaws don’t have to be long, confusing, or difficult to read! They should be clear, concise, and descriptive of the structure and flow of authority in the association. This requires the assistance of someone who has experience with association governance and respect for each association’s unique culture.
The place to start is with a governing documents analysis. We analyze your bylaws (and other policy documents if requested) to identify three things: (1) formatting issues that make the document difficult to read, handle, or understand; (2) content issues where there is more detail than necessary or important items are missing; and (3) governance issues that are caused by conflicts or imprecise language, and are simply waiting for the right circumstances to cause chaos.
Following the analysis report, we schedule a conference call to discuss the results and options, which might include a new set of bylaws or amendments to the existing document. Either way, we create a plan of action to handle the issues raised. We do not work from a one-size-fits-all template in creating or amending bylaws — we start with your needs then work with you to create the framework that is best suited for your purposes.
A large group generally needs more structured meeting rules than a small group, to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. No matter what size, there must be reasonable limits on debate to prevent a few members from dominating the conversation. The complexity of the rules is determined by the size of the group, the level of trust or tension, and the importance of the decisions being made. We work with our clients to assist them in developing and maintaining appropriate rules for all types of meetings.
“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.”
— Elwyn Brooks White