Sometimes those changes come about as a result of external forces – the need to survive and thrive.
Other times, they’re a result of internal factors – based on circumstances and opportunities.
An organization’s natural evolution accounts for both external forces and internal factors.
For Omicron Delta Kappa, the maturation of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society (founded in 1914) and the subsequent establishment and growth of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation (founded in 1984) led to the evolution of how O∆K has been led and managed over its almost 105-year history.
In fact, since 2000 O∆K has experienced three substantial shifts in its governance – first the establishment of a Society Board of Directors in 2000, subsequent modifications (both expansion and contraction) to its regional governance structure (provinces, then regions), and finally the establishment of a representative National Advisory Council (2010) and Student Advisory Board (2014).
Each subsequent iteration of O∆K ’s evolving governance structure sought to maintain the intergenerational nature of the organization – bringing students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community leaders – together to examine matters of mutual interest.
What lacked, however, was greater efficiency and focus on core programs including membership growth, leadership development, and fundraising.
Before last month’s conclave, O∆K had two governing boards (the Society’s Board of Directors and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees), duplicative committees across both of the aforementioned governing boards (finance, audit, program, etc.), and two national advisory boards (the National Advisory Council and the Student Advisory Board).
To that end, O∆K’s National President Matt Clifford and Foundation President Sally Albrecht jointly appointed a commission to examine more efficient governance strategies last spring. The delegates who gathered at the conclave acted on a historic merger of the O∆K Society and O∆K Foundation – through their actions, they have positioned O∆K as a stronger organization positioned for sustained growth in our second century and beyond.
Today, by merging the legal entities of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation into a single organization, the delegates at the conclave created an organization consistent with best practices in the governance of non-profit organizations, one that can more effectively engage students, faculty, and staff in the life of the Society, and one that conserves and enhances financial resources.
Yes, organizations change. The newly establish Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation, Inc. is a change for the better…better governance, better representation, better engagement, and better resource management.