Individual Group Decisions

Though RMHC Richmond is a small chapter belonging to the much larger organization of Ronald McDonald House Charities, there is little interaction between the two except the passing of guidelines from the Board of the former to staff of the latter as well as its fellow chapters.  Aside from this, however, RMHC Richmond effectively functions as its own organization. Within the house on Monument, there exists a few departments that each have their own director and it is all overseen by an Executive Director. The departments include Development and Communications, Volunteers and Engagement, and Medical Programs and Partnerships.  All of the staff have their own unique and specific duties within these departments which places a lot of responsibility on each individual role. Even the interns have designated placement rather than general work for the organization. I specifically work in the Development and Communications office and my advisor is the Events Coordinator who directly reports to the Director of the department.  Other interns, however, do different work and are specifically assigned to the House Coordinator, Volunteer and Community Service Manager, or the Director of Medical Programs and Partnerships.

Though they often do not have the same duties or projects at the same time, each staff member relies on their peers in order to get their own work, this makes for a nice checks and balances system throughout the organization.  Because of this, large decisions for one person’s project typically has to be made after consultation with other staff members in order to ensure that the decision is possible. Additionally, many of the staff participate in and host committee meetings in order to assist with decision-making.  I have had the opportunity to sit on one of these committees, the RSR Ambassadors Committee. Its purpose is to plan the theme and decor of the annual Red Shoe Rendezvous Gala and Auction; this year’s theme is growth. The meeting consisted of my boss, Meg, leading a discussion on the theme and the meaning behind it as well as the decor possibilities that would fit.  Though it is her committee and her event to ultimately plan, she made it an open space for all of the group to contribute and bring their own unique ideas. It was exciting to watch a group of individuals feed off of each others’ creativity to plan an event that is aiming to raise over $300,000 for such an amazing cause.

One thought on “Individual Group Decisions

  • June 14, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    So there is formal leadership structure, but the nature of the work is also somewhat collaborative and there are opportunities (at least as it relates to events based on your description) for all individuals to influence work, projects, etc. Given that individuals step in and cover for one another (as described in your last reflection) and the interconnected nature of the work, it seems there must be relatively high trust among everyone. Over the remainder of your internship it might be good to reflect on that and try to figure out how that trust was developed; is it a result of particular leadership styles, actions, simply a result of individuals working together for some time (if that is the case?), etc.

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