| Home|| THE GENERAL SERVICE BOARD AND ITS AFFILIATES (Note: In 1993 a sub-committee of the Trustees' Nominating Committee had been asked to undertake a project to take a visionary look at the General Service Board and its affiliate Boards. As was often the case, this report was not used for looking into any long range planning nor in its "inventory - there was no discussed by the General Service Board of Alcoholics Anonymous on this piece. It was cast aside.)|
Long range planning and inventory - The background material comes from the "Recommendations: To Strengthen the General Service Board" which was written by Bill W. in 1962 and submitted to the 1962 General Service Conference. Many of the issues and concerns which Bill wrote about may still be pertinent today. In any event, they provide a thought provoking base from which an inventory might proceed.
|1) Trustee ratio on the Board|
a. That AA members should always have a clear majority over non-AA's in managing the Fellowships affairs. (To that end, does our present ratio reflect that today?)
b. That AA, as a Fellowship, needs to be willing and able to top-manage its own affairs as a clear demonstration of its maturity, humility, and faith in a Power Greater than itself. (Have the Class A's been given too much responsibility? Is their role that of providing advise, council and a stabilizing influence or has their influence become too over powering in the areas of policy, business, professionalism, and committee control, etc.?)
c. That all major elements of Society ought to be represented in the Class A group of Trustees. (Has the Board kept this as a primary focus? How can we ensure a proper balance?)
d. That we ought always see our Class A Trustees as being a guiding force when our Fellowship is being emotionally unstable. (What is the importance of this function today?)
e. That non-AA's ought to be an Advisory Council only. (Do Class A Trustees act as advisors on policy issues? How much influence do they have on the Conference Committees?)
f. That three Trustees-at-Large be appointed by the Board, from AA members with significant business experience to provide administrative expertise. (Is it perhaps time to look at three Trustee-at-Large?)
g. That there ought not be too great an emphasis placed on business experience for Class B Trustees. (Are we now looking for this business or professional experience from our Class B Trustees? What qualifications do Delegates consider in Regional Trustee elections?)
h. That too much expertise on the Board would tend to refute a need for the group conscience and reduce the Boards "teach ability." (Is this expertise often sought out? Has the Board, in any way, lost sight of the need for "group conscience" input?)
i. That the Board should concern itself primarily with "Fellowship" concerns rather than "business" matters. (Does the Board seem to focused on primarily business matters? Has AAWS been given too much "Right of Decision" in business matters which may effect Policy? Have decisions upon matter of policy, finance, or AA Tradition which were liable to affect AA as a whole been made regarding business? e.g. merit pay litigation's, etc.?)
j. That, once informed of a possible need, the regions should decide, through election of their trustee, just how much business expertise is needed. (Election procedures have changed and do not allow as direct a choice by Delegates. Is this an area that needs to be examined?)
| 2) G.S.O. OPERATIONS: |
a. That there needs to be an improvement in the communication between the General Service Board Chairperson and the General Service Office. (What is the solution to better communications?) b. That a more direct management of the General Service Office by the General Service Board would invite struggles for power. (Ways of better communication which would not involve direct managing?
c. That the General Service Board Vice-Chairperson could act as the "hands-on" representative of the General Service Board Chairman. (Would this be a "ways and means' solution towards better communications? The current General Service Board Chairman wished to handle this himself. Would a strong General Service Board Vice Chairman result in "double-headed" management of the GSO?)
d. That the central focus/vision for the direction/operation must come from the Board rather than the GSO management. (Is this in effect? Has the Board turned over too much of this responsibility to AAWS? The General Manager?)
| 3) NOMINATING:|
a. That there be a written procedure to insure adequate representation in the selection of Class A Trustees, AA Staff, Directors, and appointed committee members. (Is this a current point of controversy? What more can be done by Nominating to ensure a more adequate representation from the aforementioned?)
| 4) CONFERENCE LEGAL AUTHORITY:|
a. That the General Service Conference has no written procedure for any attempt to reorganize the General Service Board. (Awareness of lack of this type of procedure-solution?)
b. That the General Service Conference has no legal authority to reorganize the General Service Board. (Is this a liability? How would this affect Concept VII?)
| 5) FUTURE LEADERSHIP:|
a. That AA lacks an overall vision with respect to its primary purpose and world service. (Does this appear to be, in part, responsible for recent difficulties? Solutions?)
b. That there is not primary world leadership nor secondary leadership. Personal leadership cannot possible be transferred to an entire Board of Trustees, and inevitable and possible serious vacuum could develop following Bill's death. (Has this lack of leadership or leader caused a problem in a power struggle between the Board and its affiliates in anyway? Do we need to look at "single" leadership as Bill suggested in 1962? What type of Leadership should this be? Class B Chairman of the General Service Board?)
c. That there needs to be "administrative leadership" as one of two functions under the Chair of the General Service Board, which can be vested in the Vice-Chair of the General Service Board. That there needs to be "service leadership," as one of two functions under the Chair of the General Service Board, which can be vested in a team comprised of the GSO Manager. (Do any of Bill's recommendations regarding this have any validity today?)
d. That the election of a Regional/at-Large Trustee (Class B) as Chair of the General Service Board could insure that the Boards overall vision is a reflection of, and based on, the "AA" experience as reflected in the attainment and maintenance of sobriety. (Has the time come to be looking towards those recommendations regarding this have validity today?)
e. That "checks and balance" ought to be in place to moderate any actual or perceived "New York Influence." (Is still a concern?)
f. That the AA Fellowship ought always seek to insure that the AA members viewpoint remains dominant. (Is this a growing concern?)
TRUSTEES' NOMINATING COMMITTEE - CONFERENCE TRUSTEES COMMITTEE
| Importance of Conference Trustees Committee in relationship to the Trustees Nominating Committee.|
a. Balance that the Conference Trustees Committee add because of their unique perspective from the 'grass-roots' - importance of maintaining this spiritual balance in regards to the "principle of participation" - importance of "group conscience" being heard when Nominating & Conference trustees committees partake in decisions regarding selecting members of the Board(s)
b. Trusting the Committee system? Regarding 'suggestion' from Conference Trustee Committee member to have procedure whereby they present individual names to the Conference for approval - problems: lack of information, lack of knowledge of Conference Trustees Committees scope and procedure, lack of information of what balance is currently needed on the Board(s) and what may be required. All above are an important function of the Conference Trustees' Committee and requires study. Would the Conference have all of the above information to make an informed group conscience selection? Solution: More interaction between the two Committees, especially when problems arise?
c .Should entire slate of names continue to be presented for Conference disapproval? Should procedure stay "as is" except for possible review of term, "disapproval" - e.g. "disapproval" is a negative recommendation. It is almost impossible to enact-2/3rds majority shouldn't be required to prevent change. Does this need to be studied? Note-AAWS and AA Grapevine directors are presented for "approval"; a change in Region is put before the Conference for "approval". A change in the Charter, By-Laws?
d. What more can be done to improve the communications between the Trustees' nominating Committee? How can the Conference Trustees Committee be assured that they are not "rubber stamp" Committee?