As we focus on a sample of secondary functions within the SSI eco
system, we are discussing functions, not people. A function is a set of related
tasks or activities to accomplish. There are people whose responsibility is to
do the work, but the people and the function are not synonymous. For example,
the Executive Function is not defined by whatever the SSI CEO decides to do;
and what he does is not necessarily Executive Function work. With this
distinction in mind, we consider a few sub-functions within the Executive

Before we proceed, though, a cautionary note is in order. The
actions and decisions of executive leaders within the agency are not value
neutral. “Leaders in human services have administrative and moral
responsibility for the decisions, policies, and practices that occur within
their organizations. They determine the organizational requirements and are
affected by them. The organizational requirements in turn affect all others….
The potential for harm and good exist as a result of actions and decisions by
leaders within the bureaucratic structure.” As we
discuss functions within SSI, please do not lose the perspective that each
decision, each action, each choice has a moral, ethical dimension that must
never be overlooked or shortchanged. Doing
things right must never become more important than doing what’s right.
that commitment firmly in mind, let’s consider the Executive Function.

SSI is headed by an administrative Board comprised of nine people
who volunteer their time and talents to govern SSI. All executive and administrative
accountability, responsibility, and authority are vested in the Board. The
Board, in turn, delegates a NAME=”ehsm_OLE_LINK37″>NAME=”ehsm_OLE_LINK36″>substantial portion of its
accountability, responsibility, and authority to the SSI CEO. Additionally, it
develops policies to direct what the
Board expects from the agency, including any limitations or restrictions the
Board chooses to impose. “Directing an organization can be like rearing a
child. Controlling every behavior is a fatiguing and ultimately impossible
charge. Inculcating the policies of life is far more effective; and even if
some slippage occurs on individual behaviors, it is the only serviceable
approach in the long run. …whether a Board wishes to control narrowly or to
lead more expansively, governing through policies is the efficient way to
operate.” The SSI CEO is, in turn, charged with
implementing the SSI Board policies. Although he may advise the Board about its
policies, development and adoption of the policies are exclusively Board
Functions and their implementation is exclusively an Executive Function.
“The Board is not responsible for managing but it surely can be
responsible for governing.”