What its like to be a Director for the Learning Network

The go to community

As the time of year approaches when we say a heartfelt goodbye to some LN Directors and welcome new Directors on board, we thought it would be a good time to give you an insight into what it’s really like to be a Board Director.

First and foremost, you must be a member of the Learning Network. This is because it is a community run by the network for the network. These are voluntary positions staffed by people who want to give something back to the network.

The Learning Network supports learning professionals, whether you are a seasoned professional or have just entered the field, and exists to help you no matter what stage of your career you’re in.

We like to think we have something for everyone – our community includes instructional designers, trainers, developers, technologists, consultants, strategists, freelancers and industry leaders.

What does the Board look like?

The Board consists of a Chairperson who oversees the Directors and helps to focus the priorities of the LN for the coming year.

They are joined by up to 11 Board Directors who have a range of skills and look after:

  • Director of Technology – looking after all the technology aspects, such as the website
  • Director of Marketing – looking after the marketing schedule, social posts, and comms to members
  • Director of Community Engagement – looking after the newsletter and Tea & Talk networking events
  • Director of Mentoring – looking after mentors and mentees and making sure mentees have the right match in their mentors
  • Director of Events – looking after the events calendar, putting together face-to-face and virtual events
  • Director of Finance – looking after the finances of the LN.

What is the tenure of a Director?

Each Director, when elected, is on the Board for a maximum of 2 years before they need to stand for election again. If they are voted back on, they get another 2 years, this gives a maximum term of 4 years for each Director.

Once the 4 years have been completed, they need to have at least 1 year out before they can stand for election again.

The Chairperson is also subject to these rules.

What should I think about before nominating myself for election?

Each person comes onto the Board with different priorities, but the one thing which binds us together is we all have a passion for the Learning Network community. We want it to be the best it can be, and we are willing to volunteer our time and energy to make that happen.

So, the questions you need to ask yourself are:

“What can I bring to the LN?”

“Can I volunteer the time needed to make a difference to the LN?”

When you stand for election, you will identify which board position you want to apply for, as you’ve seen above, we have several different roles so our Directors can focus on a particular area.

This being said, Directors often help out in other areas when needed. So just because you are a director of one area, doesn’t mean you can’t dip your toe into other areas.

What do the current Board say about their roles?

Lisa Walker, Director of Events
“I wasn’t prepared for how invested I would feel in making the LN events as successful as possible. Of course, I’d planned on doing the best job that I could, but because the community is so important to me it felt very personal, and I didn’t expect that.”

Andrew Jacobs, Director of Mentoring
“Directing is setting the strategy and then enabling strategy! To do the job well it’s at least 2 days a month, probably more when there are activities to be done.”

Kashish Kacheria, Director of Marketing
“It’s a more hands-on role than I expected – in a way that is great because you can bring your vision to life, but it also means that you need to have the time to devote to making things happen.”

Kim Ellis, Director of Community Engagement
“When I first came onto the Board, I did not know what to expect. In the past couple of years, I have worked with and learned from some amazing people within our community. The Tea & Talk meet-ups are always the highlight of my month, sometimes the conversations are a little random, and other times we help each other work through ideas or problems.”

What if I don’t think I’m ready for the Board?

Don’t worry, there are other ways in which you can give back to the network without being on the Board. You could help run events, contribute to the newsletter, or collaborate with some of the Directors in their areas.

If you are considering standing for the Board, but don’t think you are quite ready, this would be a good way to test the waters and then think about standing for election the following year.

If you have any questions about the different roles if you aren’t sure which you should apply for, feel free to reach out to the current Board Directors via email or Slack.