IQA Leadership Crisis Unfolds

Photo credit: International Quidditch Association’s official logo.

Editor’s Note: This article was written jointly by two individuals who have worked extensively with the International Quidditch Association. Both have expressed their views to Face Beat It on the condition that their identities would not be publicly available.

There is a crisis of leadership facing the IQA. This crisis has unfolded over the past two years in two accounts. The first is that there is no strong leadership within the management of the IQA; the second is that the IQA has been weak in leadership of its members.

This crisis has reached a boiling point in the past week or so. With Harrison Homel’s resignation from the position of Executive Director, many of us who observe and attempt to hold the IQA to account have anticipated that the hiring of a new Executive Director would bring about many of the changes we have been hoping for.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Instead, the task of hiring a replacement ED has been delayed until the IQA incorporates, which is set for the end of September. Until then, the Board of Trustees has chosen to appoint Nicole Hammer, Homel’s personal assistant, as the interim leader.

This leaves us with a number of questions:

  1. Why has the IQA been permitted to operate for so long without being legally incorporated, henceforth putting the entirety of the sport at risk if a legal battle were to arise?
  2. Why, if incorporation is due by the end of September, has the IQA not begun recruiting for a new ED before now? Surely it would be better to bring in a new ED on the eve of incorporation so that said person can undertake the vital, time-sensitive work of the organization immediately?

The answer to both of these questions is the same: there is a crisis of leadership. The current makeup of the Board of Trustees (Chris Daw as chair, with Nicholas Oughtibridge and Brian Gallaway as fellows) is not inclined towards strong decision making. The strongest decisions it has made since its undertaking of the role is its management of the World Cup Expansion Fundhardly a positive experience for anyone involved.

So with no leadership from the Board of Trustees, and no ED, can one even say that the IQA exists anymore? Beyond the success of this summer’s World Cup, can one point to any other achievements of the IQA? Where is the successful rulebook? Where are development resources? Where are referee development plans and new standards to aspire to? Why is there no indication at all that the IQA is actually leading the way for the rest of us to follow?

There is a crisis of leadership in the IQA, and these writers would like to suggest three ways for it to remedied:

  1. The Board of Trustees should hold an immediate public forum, via Google Hangouts, to explain its plans for the future of the IQA. It should make public its intentions, its direction, and justify the lack of competence from the organization it is responsible for.
  2. The process of hiring a new Executive Director should begin immediately, regardless of incorporation. The new Executive Director should be a trusted community figure, with international leadership experiencesomeone who is willing to act as a strong figurehead for both the organization and the sport.
  3. A one-page, one-year strategic plan should be released, with goals for the IQA to meet in regards to events, rules, officials, development, and publicity. This should be made publicly available and promoted to quidditch players all over the world.

These writers firmly believe the current leadership crisis is systemic and has resulted from weak leadership by previous managers and trustees of the organization. The solutions offered above are not long termbut they would go a fair way towards preventing further escalation of the crisis and put the IQA back in the right direction.

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