January 2017 Newsletter

 President’s Message

Melissa Campbell, NSDA President

I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and were able to enjoy time with family and friends.

The NSDA board had a busy fall. We met in November at the NSDA office. At this meeting we used a mode of governance called generative governance to identify areas of improvement for the board. Generative governance can be employed at times throughout a meeting when a certain issue may need more finite discussion than can be had at the board table. In this mode the board engages in deeper inquiry, exploring root causes, values, new ideas, etc. This is done in a smaller group, away from the board table. It allows all ideas or thoughts on a topic to be discussed or rooted out. A summary of what was discussed in the smaller group is then brought back to the full board. The board used this mode for the first time to identify a board improvement plan.

One of the key areas for improvement identified by the board was establishing an ethical decision-making framework. Ethical decision-making refers to the process of evaluating and choosing among alternatives in a manner consistent with ethical principles. In making ethical decisions, it is necessary to perceive and eliminate unethical options and select the best ethical alternative. A board ‘ad hoc’ committee was established to look into whether the NSDA board requires this type of framework, and if so, to create one.

The board also participated in a world café to review and evaluate our strategic goal statements.

• Strategic Goal Statement #1: To ensure members are competent and practice in a safe and ethical manner – The organization has completed a great deal of work towards meeting this goal statement, such as the revamping the Continuing Competency Program, creating standards of practice (in progress), developing authorization statements, producing policies and position statements, etc. This goal statement is essentially the mandate of the organization. This work is ongoing and continually evolving.

• Strategic Goal Statement #2: To provide effective strategic direction and oversight using a hybrid model of governance – When the strategic goals were created, a governance and nominations committee was created to help meet this goal. Substantial work has been done within the goal statement to operate as an effective hybrid governance model, such as creating a macroagenda, establishing governance policies, and developing and implementing evaluation processes for recruitment, board orientation, meetings, the chair, and committees.

• Strategic Goal Statement #3: A comprehensive enterprise risk management system is in place – This strategic goal has been completed. The risk management system is in place. The Risk Committee has been dissolved and replaced with a Risk Lead. The terms of this board position are still being developed, but they will be responsible for maintaining the risk management system and ensuring the board looks at its work through a ‘risk lens’.

• Strategic Goal Statement #4: Stakeholders are informed about the regulation of dietitians and nutritionists – The key stakeholders have been identified. Key messages have been drafted for each stakeholder group regarding proclamation. This strategic goal now lies with operations as an operational communication strategy. A communications plan is currently in place and awaiting proclamation. The board Stakeholder and Public Relations Committee has been dissolved and an operations communication committee and terms of reference have been established.

For the remainder of the 2016/17 fiscal year, the board and organization will continue to work within these strategic goal statements. In fall 2017, the board will identify a new strategic plan. I wish to congratulate all current and past board members, committee members, consultants, volunteers and Jennifer Garus who helped develop and/or work through this strategic plan. A tremendous amount of work has been done in the past five years towards meeting these goals. Although we are a small organization, we are truly leaders in the world of regulation.

Working through evaluating our progress towards meeting our strategic directions, two board committees were dissolved, as previously mentioned. The board work that has been identified as priority falls within two areas: governance and recruitment. Two current board committees are: Governance, which will address evaluation, the Governance Committee's macro agenda, orientation, mentorship and a governance enhancement plan; and Nominations Committee which will address recruitment, retention, skills gap analysis, Honorary Life Membership award criteria implementation and selection, and board succession planning. These committees have been populated and are working towards meeting their mandate.

I wish you all well in 2017 and I hope to see many of you at the AGM May 12th at the Old Orchard In in Wolfville.

Melissa Campbell, PDt
NSDA President 2016-2018