Leadership

Technical Support Group Introduces New Leadership Structure

By / Nov 15, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

The association for the technical support industry, HDI, has redesigned its volunteer leadership structure to make sure its chapters are getting proper resources from the national body.

To better serve its chapters and members, HDI, the organization for technical support professionals, has restructured its volunteer leadership network.

HDI is composed of local chapters and their members, so to ensure they receive sufficient attention and resources, the organization’s new Chapters First Strategy is a “strategic plan to really provide a more focused, connected, and member-oriented leadership community,” HDI Director of Membership Leslie Cook said.

The purpose of realigning and rebuilding the national organization was to build a support network for those chapters in a way that really provided the support that they need.

The new leadership structure, a hierarchy made up of volunteer national officers, will help reduce the number of chapters per liaison to the national organization. HDI developed the new structure with Help Desk Chapters, Inc. (HDC), its strategic partner in managing its chapter network.

“Our goal is to have those chapters be the focus of everything we do in our organization,” said Mary Cruse, chair of the HDC board. “So the purpose of realigning and rebuilding the national organization was to build a support network for those chapters in a way that really provided the support that they need.”

Following a SWOT analysis, HDI realized that “our leadership structure and our operational resources were not supporting the success of our local chapters,” Cook said. For example, each national officer was responsible for working with about 15 local chapters, a ratio HDI wanted to change.

The Chapters First Strategy addresses this challenge by simplifying HDI’s national board structure into one cohesive board, as well as introducing a new national officer structure with four regional vice presidents who then each oversee four district presidents. The district presidents will work directly with chapter leaders of now only four to five chapters.

“We will be able to have closer connections between national officers and chapters, solving issues faster through identified resources for help, and of course less complication in the flow of information and obtaining assistance,” Cook said.

The expanded national officer network will also provide greater volunteer leadership and professional development opportunities for members, Cruse explained. Those looking to gain leadership experience they may not get in the workplace can do so through volunteering with HDI, which will allow them to lead member teams, speak at meetings and conferences, and manage projects for the association.

“We’re looking forward to offering more leadership development through the experience, through training, through mentorship,” she said. “As these individuals share their volunteer time, we really want the return on investment on their volunteer time. So it’s not only the fulfillment of doing a volunteer commitment, but it’s the return of being developed on top of that.”

Members are not only waiting for these leadership roles but also getting involved in the transition phase by volunteering with the HDI transition team, writing leadership operations manuals, and communicating the changes to chapters.

“They’re really pleased that there is this renewed focus on their needs, their opportunities, their ideas, and giving them this connection that is much more available to them than when they were dealing with someone who has to support a much larger group,” Cruse said.

Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. More »

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