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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516

S. Afr. dent. j. vol.71 no.4 Johannesburg Mai. 2016




Energising the executive



WG Evans



The structure and organisational hierarchy of the Association have been carefully assembled to produce an efficient and progressive team to direct the affairs of our profession. Paramount amongst that architecture is the recognition of the dual imperatives of the Executive but also indeed of all the Committees and substructures. The ultimate success of the organisation depends upon harnessing the wisdom of the experienced member with the enthusiasm and energy of the younger that is the dual nature which combines to produce innovation but also the start of tradition. Membership of the Association committees is therefore a signal honour but is also a challenging burden. The objectives may be clear but the way through may be tortuous indeed. It has been with those realities in mind that the tenure of membership on any of the committees has been formulated to allow for the stamina of experience and to allow for the impetuousness of youth.

When members are invited to nominate colleagues to any of these positions, that invitation accords a privilege and a responsibility. It is a privilege for individual members to express their preferences, and a simultaneous responsibility, for those preferences will be based on careful assessment of the abilities of the candidate. Whilst these considerations may be claimed to affect any organisation, they are especially pertinent to the Association because of the impact of the new structures which recognise that the Association has matured into an institution run on business lines. Settling into that role has demanded time and cogitation.

When nominations are called for members to fill positions on the SADA Board, it is precisely the factors described above which will influence the decisions and the selections. It is instructive to also recognise that despite the undoubted qualifications such erudite nominees may have, there remains a need for a period of induction and, perhaps surprisingly, a period of actual training. Association Members may not be aware of just how seriously is considered the question of ensuring competent direction of the affairs of the Association. New non- Executive members of the Board will have a period of some several months to receive such training before finally assuming the offices to which they have been elected. Indeed a basic selection consideration may be whether a candidate is willing to undergo time consuming and challenging instruction in the workings and promotion of SADA. These are rather special, dedicated people.

It may be just imagination but there may be some relevance in the current Front Cover images of the Journal the teeth of denizens of the deep. Think of the mussel cracker and then focus on the need for Committee members to be able to break down the hard crust of problems facing the Association so a thorough chewing-over of all considerations is possible. Then picture the baleen of the mighty whalesifting out the essentials, carefully retaining the best for intake. May our Committee members bring that same meticulous combing out of the dilemmas facing the profession, simplifying and refining to render problems digestible?! But what about sharp teeth?? There are those aplenty amongst fish. And yes of course we need Committee members whose sharp intellect and perception will analyse problems rapidly by stripping off the obfuscating verbiage.

Revisit the Front Covers do you recognise the characteristics? Remember them as the criteria which single out the leaders in our profession., enriching and energising.