Asia Regional Leadership Team

Overview


Table of Contents

ObjectiveThe Asia Regional Leadership Team (RLT) helps CARE improve the quality of its decisions and ensures that CARE is more strategically focused on the right things at the right time.

Membership
The Asia RLT comprises a two-tier structure:
  • The first level - the Country Director Team - consist of Country Directors (from CARE USA and other CI-led COs) as well as ARMU and CI representatives. This team primarily provides oversight for regional initiatives
  • The second level - the Regional Working Groups - is made up of either standing or ad hoc working groups.
While these groups are largely autonomous in their operations, they are accountable to the Country Director Team (among others, for informing the team of priority activities, resource allocation and spending, progress reports, etc.)

Terms of Reference


TOR for the Asia Regional Leadership Team
(As originally envisioned in 2006)

Over the course of the next few years, ARMU will explore a range of regional and CO leadership modalities. The intent is two-fold: first, to build the capacity needed for more inclusive and representative leadership; and, second, to promote downward accountability and ownership for decision making.

Why leadership? / Why now?
ARMU’s AOP for fiscal year 2006 includes a specific objective about “promoting diverse and inclusive team based leadership and people management.” The motivation here is a desire to share ownership for decision making and promote downward accountability both within ARMU and across the region. Underpinning this interest is the premise that the comprehensive skill sets needed to meet the global and organizational complexities described above must be carefully developed by both the individual and the organization. In short, we must demonstrate through concrete actions our commitment to succession planning.

Four assumptions that underpin ARMU’s view of leadership are:
o First, leadership is the capability to bring about constructive or adaptive change in an organization by directing and mobilizing people and their ideas.
o Second and consistent with CI Program Principle #1, we need to promote an enabling leadership at CARE that creates an environment where employees are able to learn, grow and change.
o Third, leadership emerges from diverse backgrounds and is exercised by staff at all levels of an organization.
o Fourth, communicating, planning with vision and values, and establishing caring connections with people lays the groundwork for effective action during a crisis or emergency.

Forming an Asia Regional Leadership Team
To date, the ARMU has drawn on various regional forums and consultative processes to inform decision making. Such forums have been the primary mechanism to introduce and champion regional and organizational strategies, and to cultivate innovation and organizational learning. These forums have also allowed COs to be involved in shaping policy and strategic direction. ARMU would like now to expand this practice by bringing CI members as well as national staff and regional task force leadership into the biannual CD meetings. An assumption that we are making is that a Regional Leadership Team (RLT) will help CARE to improve the quality of its decisions. Additionally, the team will ensure that CARE is more strategically focused on the right things at the right time. More specifically, the shift to shared leadership is being pursued in order:

  • To promote more inclusive and representative leadership that takes advantage of the diversity and innovation that exists within the region
  • To promote more inclusive and representative leadership that takes advantage of the diversity and innovation that exists within the region
  • To increase levels of ownership and accountability for decision making
  • To promote learning and connectivity across Country Offices

Membership of the Regional Leadership Team

The RLT will comprise a two-tier structure. The first level – the Country Director Team – will be made of Country Directors (from CARE USA and other CI-led COs) as well as ARMU and CI representatives. This team will primarily provide oversight for regional initiatives. For example:
a. Input into and feedback on the ARMU AOP. (In addition, ARMU will have 6-month accountability on performance to the team.)
b. Identifying/approving the terms of reference and composition of various regional working groups; reviewing outputs of these working groups and ensuring lessons are passed onto the larger organization.
c. Resource allocation and performance accountability
The second level – the Regional Working Groups – will be made up of either standing or ad hoc working groups:
a. Standing regional working groups include, for example, the Program Quality Group, Succession Planning Committee, Gender & Sexuality/Violence against Women Communities and HR Network
b. Ad hoc working groups will include, for example, a C-Philippines assessment team or sub-regional scenario planning team
While these groups will be largely autonomous in their operations, they will be accountable to the Country Director Team (among others, for informing the team of priority activities, resource allocation & spending, progress reports etc).

Challenges – making it work

· Shared leadership will clearly have higher costs than our current decision making processes. More time will be involved in the discussion and consensus building stages, and more senior staff will be involved in these processes. Some of the expected costs are significant investments of time of team members, resource allocations made through IOPs; and CO SMT support to staff assigned to a working group.
· Changes will need to occur regarding how we interact and participate in decision making processes. We will have to revisit our meetings norms to ensure we are recognizing and rewarding how people work together (the quality of people’s interactions) as well as outputs. Examples of these qualitative behaviors include: co-participation in the process of leadership; contribution towards consensus building; achievement of organizational goals (rather than personal agendas); and practicing conversation that promotes democratic processes, integrity and shared ethics.
·

We will need to question how well we are building the kind of environment that encourages equal participation, regardless of position. For example:

For a printable version of the Terms of Reference of the Asia RLT, go to: Reference 3 2 - TOR for the Regional Leadership Team-2006 (3).doc





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