We have all seen this year the rising frustration that has arguably been caused by people being asked to agree to political change one too many times. Within the profession we know that whether working in academia or practice there are very few examples where some sort of organisational change is not always occurring – it often just depends on where you are in the cycle! However, one risk of this is that the constant push for change can cause disengagement and apathy which then leads to changes being agreed without any real checks or balances.
Now change can be a good thing – certainly if there is a clear need for it and the will is there for that change to happen. An example of this is the recent successful outcome of last year’s DHP AGM whereby Professor Marie Johnson put forward a resolution for a review of the requirements for Full Membership of the Division. This need for change was recognised by the DHP Chair and committee, fought for and subsequently agreed by the BPS. But what if that isn’t the case? What if change is being proposed when the need has not been clearly established, and perhaps more importantly, no real consultation or review opportunity is provided?
One possible example that is of direct relevance to DHP members, is the change put forward by DHP Chair Professor Karen Rodham that will lead to the term of the Chair being extended from the current three-year pattern (which was introduced in 2014 with Karen’s own election) to a four-year pattern. With the last change in tenure a consultation with members was undertaken over a period of months. All DHP members were able to vote through the BPS email announcements list on their preference based on a range of models for Chair’s tenure. The current three-year term was voted the most popular and subsequently proposed and ratified by the committee. The consultation was voluntary and this time the DHP committee has followed the BPS procedure which simplifies the process of change and therefore the change in model was proposed by the chair and then voted for and agreed during the May DHP committee meeting.
But perhaps this could be seen as going against the express wishes obtained only a few years ago of the wider DHP membership? Does this risk individuals feeling frustration not because they have been asked one to many times about organisational change, but because they haven’t? Or are you happy with this simplification and the adoption of the 4-year model? The committee are there to represent you and both Karen and incoming Chair Jo Hart do want to hear your views on this topic. Although this change has been agreed to come in to place, the committee have demonstrated over the last year they will definitely take member views into account and so it is important that members still feel able to put forward their views.
So, what do you want? Are you happy with this most recent change or do you have concerns and want the three-year term to remain? PLEASE let the committee know – the people that work on the committee are hardworking volunteers who are trying to make decisions for the best interests of members, but in order to do that, members do need to let the committee know their views and concerns if they have them.
So please, do get in touch at: [email protected]