MitOst Governance Structure Process

Process, decision, Core Development Group
MitOst has grown strongly in recent years - both as an organisation and as a network - and so has its field of activity. This growth has been accompanied by changes in structures and processes within the organisation. At the MitOst Camp and the MitOst Agora, there were repeated discussions as to how our organisational structure and decision-making processes could be adapted to the current circumstances. The governance structure process is dedicated precisely to this challenge.

Based on the results of last year’s MitOst Camp and the MitOst Agora, MitOst’s Board and the management have submitted a draft resolution to the Members' Assembly in 2018 proposing a process for revising the governance structure of MitOst. The Members' Assembly 2018 has accepted this proposal and mandated the Board to conduct the process until the Members' Assembly 2019. 

In order to involve as many stakeholders as possible in this process, a Core Development Group with nine Members was formed. Ljiljana Šotra and Sabrina Schulz represent the MitOst Board in the group. Representing members and alumni, Saskia Herklotz, Rozalina Laskova and Stelios Voulgaris were elected to the group following an application process. Annegret Wulff and Jotham Sietsma represent the office as managing directors, as well as Kathrin Oerters and Sebastian Schlüter as staff representatives.

Governance is derived from the French word "gouverner" and means "manage, direct, educate". In the sense of organisational structures, a governance model refers to the general system of control and regulation as well as the structure of the organisation. The governance structure process at MitOst is primarily dedicated to decision-making processes within our organisation and the organisational structure.

What is the Task and Mandate of the Core Development Group?
The group is responsible for carrying out the restructuring process. Its task is to develop various scenarios and proposals for a future governance structure at MitOst. These proposals will be discussed with members, alumni and staff at the 2019 MitOst Camp in May and further developed together. Subsequently, concrete submissions for the Members' Assembly 2019 will be developed.

What happened so far? 
The Core Development Group met in December for the first time. The aim of the meeting was to develop a common understanding of the task and the mandate of the group. Through case studies, the group gained insights into decision-making processes in recent years. The result of the meeting was a conceptual framework for the work ahead and a work plan for the upcoming months.

The Core Development Group then split into three working groups. A subgroup develops the conceptual framework, elaborated principles to guide the process, and continued the analysis of the case studies and decision-making processes of past years. A second group collected knowledge and experiences of experts and other organisations that are interesting to the process. The third group ensured the involvement of various interest groups within the MitOst community in order to integrate their concerns in relation to decision-making processes at MitOst that have an impact on them as well as to collect their knowledge.

In March, the Core Development Group met for a four-day retreat with the following results:

Guiding Principles
The guiding principles aim to serve as a compass of the governance structure process at MitOst. On the one hand, they relate to the process and its design. On the other hand, the Core Development Group has developed some important characteristics of a future governance structure for MitOst. They are currently being written and will be shared here shortly.

Insights from the Stakeholder Interviews

The Core Development Group has gained insights into the qualities and specific functions that interviewees want to maintain and protect, and into those that the interviewees would like to be created and developed further. The interviews will continue in the coming weeks.

Possible Governance Models

Three governance models were developed at the March meeting. They show different possibilities for
the organisation of relations in the network, the organisation of overarching activities and functions, as well as  the way in which sensemaking, strategy development and governance are organised and which legal forms are available. The first model puts the association at the core. The second model takes more of a network approach. In the third model units are even more loosely coupled.

The next Core Development Group meeting will take place on April 30. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare the models’ presentation at the MitOst Camp. 

Call for action and feedback

We want to open the process from the beginning, share current information and partial results, and involve you and other stakeholders. How can you participate?

Give us a feedback 
Your questions, your comments and your critical feedback are very welcome. Do you know organisations that have an interesting governance model, or do you have other ideas that could inspire us for the process? Please contact us by e-mail at coregroup(at), by phone in the MitOst office or in person at the MitOst camp or on another occasion. You can also share it anonymiously via Google Forms here.

Take part in discussions 
Information about the process will be posted here, in newsletters and you can join the forum at the Bosch Alumni Network to discuss more details. Enter or register to enter. Under "groups" you will find MitOst. Join the group and find in the menu item "FAQ" the forum to exchange and discuss.
You will be also invited to join one of the online discussions via zoom, the dates will be announced soon. 

Share your views 
Some of you will be contacted by the group to get a deeper insight into your viewpoints, visions and thoughts. We are happy if you give us some time and share your knowledge with us. The MitOst Camp will take place in 24 to 26 May 2019 in Berlin. In March, we will send out the invitation and the application. Keep an eye on your inbox.