BISG Revises Governance Structure To Better Serve Members
Monday, August 28, 2017
Posted by: Kim Graff
New York, NY (August 28, 2017) – On August 24, the Board of Directors of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) voted to change the organization’s bylaws to provide segment-specific representation within the Board; open up the nominating process to all members; and increase participation opportunities for members, including three new advisory groups and an Association Advisory Council.
“These changes align with BISG’s mission of representing the interests of the entire book industry,” said Board chair Maureen McMahon (Kaplan Publishing). “By creating segment-specific roles with the Board, we will always have the right voices in the room as we tackle industry issues.” Starting in mid-2018, the Board will consist of 14 members, in line with the size of boards at other industry associations, including the AAP, AAUP, and IBPA.
An ad hoc committee of the Board formed in April 2017 proposed the changes. Chaired by Kelly Gallagher (Ingram), the committee examined how other associations worked, borrowing best practices from several of them.
Gallagher, who also led a revision of the BISG strategic plan last summer, observed, “The current structure and size of the BISG Board works against full engagement, at a time when the organization needs to move much faster to meet the changing needs of the publishing industry. A carefully structured, smaller governing body can develop the culture of clarity, governance, and data-driven decision making that is required to both set and refine strategic direction in a transforming market.”
The revised bylaws make Board roles accessible to all members, who will be invited each year to apply for consideration by an independent nominating committee. Current Board member Angela Bole (IBPA) said, “The self-nomination process, which will be open to all current BISG members, is an important aspect of the new approach.”
Beyond the Board, BISG has expanded opportunities to participate in activities that shape the industry. “Our standing committees have always led the way in giving members a seat at the table,” said BISG executive director Brian O’Leary. “We recently added two advisory groups to help us with marketing and communications as well as membership, and we will add a research advisory group shortly.”
The plan also creates an Association Advisory Council, which will meet quarterly. All book publishing associations will be invited to join, contribute their perspectives, and share current concerns. The conversation is expected to keep all participants better informed, and it may lead to other problem-solving efforts within BISG or across the larger publishing community.
The full BISG membership will be asked to ratify these changes at the next annual meeting of members, scheduled for September 25, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Harvard Club of New York. Annual meeting registration is open here: http://bisg.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=892544&group=
BISG is the book industry’s leading trade association for information, standards and research, creating the connections and conversations that solve problems, advance new ideas and more profitably bring published content to readers.