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By Wendy Nicklin, ISQua President Friday. Mar 20, 2020

Update on the Board from the ISQua President Featured

On 12 & 13 March, your ISQua Board held its annual retreat followed by the Board meeting.  I am pleased to summarize our deliberations herewith.


Arriving in Dublin midst the escalating COVID-19 crisis, we met together for 2 days.  The retreat was extremely rich in both content and discussion.  Our current Strategic Plan ends in December 2020 and thus we are beginning to set the stage for the next Strategic Plan.


Identified during our Board retreat of 2019, this retreat follow-up on the following important topics:

1) An update of the status of our current Strategic Plan (2017-2020) was presented by our CEO and the ISQua team.

2) The next presentation and discussion focused on Horizon Scanning.  In this session, led by Jeffrey Braithwaite and Ellen Joan van Vliet, we discussed the future of health and health systems and considered opportunities and threats, and the implications for ISQua. 

3) A workshop led by Steve Clark and Ezequiel Garcia-Elorrio focused on our potential role in generating advisory work, research and grants.  We were divided into 2 groups and identified strategies in these areas and priorized them into categories of easy, harder, and good idea yet difficult to implement.

4)  The next session titled ‘Fit for Purpose’ was coordinated by Tricia Woodhead and Jacqui Stewart.  Jacqui began by summarizing a document focusing on Board/CEO relationships, clarity of which is important for effective governance.   Next, Tricia reviewed leadership behaviours, and role, behaviours & outcomes and spoke about Collective Leadership.

5)  The next session was facilitated by BK Rana, Sara Yaron and Shin Ushiro.  We discussed 6 strategic questions such as ‘What type of organization do we want to be?’ and ‘How do we ensure sustainability?’.  This session resulted in minor changes to both the Vision and Mission.  We spent 10 minutes on each question, resulting in a wealth of ideas on which to build. 

6)  The day concluded by the reports from the Raconteurs – David Vaughan summarized the key messages and themes of the morning session and Bruno Lucet summarized the afternoon session. 


As you can see, the entire Board was engaged in facilitation roles and everyone actively participated throughout the day.


ISQua staff will develop a report for us that consolidates the comments made throughout the day.  A working group of the Board will work with Peter and staff to sift through this report and develop an action plan.  Our goal is to focus on key items to facilitate advancing ISQua and contribute to developing the next Strategic Plan.  We are sensitive to the workload of staff and to being realistic as to how much can be addressed and in what timeframe. 


The Board meeting was held the following day, on 12 March, and consisted of the CEO update and reports of the various Board Committees, such as Finance and Audit (Chair - Steve Clark) and Corporate Governance (Chair – Jacqui Stewart).  Considerable time was spent discussing the upcoming annual conference to be held in Florence.  Given COVID-19 situation various scenarios were discussed.  There will be further dialogue about this in the coming 4 – 6 weeks. 


We were pleased to receive reports from the Chairs of our 2 new Advisory Committees, each of which has had one meeting.  Tricia Woodhead reported on the Knowledge Management, Networks and Communities of Practice Advisory Committee and Ezequiel Garcia-Elorrio reported on the Regions and LMIC Advisory Committee.  You will receive more information about the business and outputs of these committees within future updates from ISQua.


As you can see, we have an engaged Board and with well qualified members who are totally committed to ISQua and our contribution to improving the quality of health and healthcare globally.   My sincerest thanks are extended to all of our Board members and to Peter, our CEO, and our staff for their active contribution and dedication. 


Together we will continue making a difference.


Wendy Nicklin

ISQua President


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