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La Leche League International
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Board Update on the Renewal Initiative

LLLI Board of Directors
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 39 No. 5, October-November 2003, p. 98.

In the March 2003 Board Actions, we stated our intention to create a temporary voluntary learning framework. The aim is to provide a "place" where Leaders can try new activities or new ways to carry out traditional LLL activities, in accord with LLL philosophy, purpose, and draft organizational principles, without putting the organization at risk. At the same time, our aim is to foster learning among Leaders, administrators, and others to discover advantages and disadvantages of working in this way. We can now provide more information on this voluntary learning framework.

Core Agreement and Policies-The "Framework"

In addition to acting in accord with current LLLI/Affiliate/Division policies and bylaws, when Leaders organize voluntarily to pursue La Leche League activities, the Board will ask for agreements with and among the Leaders participating. These agreements will include (among other elements), references to:

  • A focus on LLL philosophy;
  • A focus on purpose;
  • Organizational principles;
  • Respectful interaction;
  • Connection and communication with each other and LLL;
  • Recognition of LLLI Board and Executive Director authority and responsibility for areas such as philosophy, Leader accreditation, protection of the LLLI name and logo;
  • Adherence to specific policies that affect LLL as a whole, for instance, policies concerning availability of LLL services (mixing causes); speaking or making agreements on behalf of LLL; funding; cooperative and collaborative action with other organizations;
  • Evaluation.

We anticipate that this framework-or experimenting stage-will continue for about two years. It is intended to help us learn as individuals, groups, and as an organization as a whole about different ways we can work and learn. Because of this, ongoing communication and evaluation will be one of the expectations.

Non-Traditional Area

As a starting place for new activities or traditional activities done in an innovative way the Executive Director of LLLI will establish a new and non-traditional Area.

Why "Area"? As we look at the LLLI Bylaws, we see that we don't need to add new structures to the parts defined in the LLLI Bylaws. Membership is open; an LLL Leader is a "mother who has fulfilled LLLI requirements for leadership and has been accredited by LLLI. A Leader shall be a member of LLLI"; an LLL Group is "one or more persons meeting in accordance with the purpose of LLLI under the guidance of one or more Leaders"; an Area is "one or more Groups within the boundaries established by the Executive Director with approval of the Board of Directors."

Areas (and other arrangements) will take shape as Leaders experiment with new ways to achieve our shared purpose. While they will still include the basic elements of LLL philosophy, policies, and agreements, the specifics of the "frameworks" will change as we learn together.

Questions and Answers

We have developed a question and answer document in an effort to help you find answers to questions about these additional ways of working and learning together. You may also want to add to the questions, submit new ones, and/or write responses. There may be many right answers to some questions. A copy will follow in a separate message, for those who are interested. It will also be on the web site at: .html.
If you would like to write further questions or answers, please email to Trudy Hartt, THartt at (email), and Rachel O'Leary, roleary at (email).

Task Force-Image of LLLI

At the same time, the LLLI Board will establish a task force to focus on the image of LLLI. It may be helpful to borrow the word "brand," a word used in the corporate world to cover a logo and all that it means. It will ask and begin to answer the question, "What do we want the image of LLLI and our overall brand to signify in the world?" Our "brand" is our total set of values, the experiences that make LLL and working with LLL what it is. It would include (but not be limited to) our philosophy of mothering through breastfeeding; the way we work and learn through mother-to-mother/peer support. Many Leaders are concerned about mixing causes. A clear understanding about the intended meaning of the brand "La Leche League" will help Leaders protect the image of La Leche League and minimize potential conflict as we go about our work in different ways.

The Board welcomes your comments and questions. Please write to LLLIBOD at (email) or Trudy Hartt, Board Secretary, 302 Acadia Drive, Beaconsfield, Quebec Canada H9W 2K2.

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