Dear Cochrane colleagues,
I wrote to you last week reflecting on Cochrane’s 2017 achievements and outlining the key organizational priorities for us over the next twelve months. 2018 promises to be another exciting year of transformation and change as we increase still further our capacity to produce and disseminate high-quality evidence to impact health decision making around the world.
Today we’re unveiling some structural changes to Cochrane’s Central Executive Team (CET) designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the way that it works, both in leading and supporting the Cochrane community. Over half way through Strategy to 2020, and five years after the CET was first designed as a fully-integrated team, we wanted to make some changes that would equip the CET better for delivering the complex and demanding organizational changes and product development that the Governing Board has set us. Here are some of the major CET structural changes:
- The Cochrane Innovations team is being formally integrated within the charity’s management structure and we are establishing a new ‘Innovations, Research & Development Department’ that will allow us to integrate the Innovations team’s product development and commercialisation work (which in the coming years will be focused on the Cochrane Library) much more fully and efficiently within Cochrane’s structure and decision-making. We will continue to have a Cochrane Innovations Trading Company (with Charlotte Pestridge continuing to be its CEO) through which we will commercialize some of our non-Library products (like Cochrane Interactive Learning).
- We are introducing a new ‘Knowledge Translation Department’, drawn from the existing Communications & External Affairs Department (CEAD), focusing on facilitating and supporting Cochrane’s organizational KT; communications; translations; ‘content’ advocacy, partnerships & external engagement; as well as events & marketing. The new department highlights the centrality of Knowledge Translation to Cochrane as an organization, and this team will act as the principal driver of the development and delivery of Cochrane’s KT work: maximising the dissemination, use, and impact of Cochrane evidence; and ensuring that all our KT outputs and activities are provided in an effective and efficient manner to support Cochrane’s strategic aims and objectives.
- To support this, the Head of the new KT department will also take on responsibility for the line management and coordination of Cochrane Fields.
- We are introducing a new ‘Membership, Learning & Support Services’ department, which broadens the scope of the existing L&SD to cover membership, learning and development, our support to consumers and patients (including the Consumers Executive) and other (future) community subsets (such as Cochrane Students for Best Evidence). The new department will also be responsible for Cochrane’s user/community support (excluding that for the Cochrane Library, which remains with our publisher, Wiley).
- The ‘Finance & Core Services’ department takes on business services/planning/monitoring/ reporting responsibilities, including management of Cochrane’s future publishing arrangements.
- The Editorial & Methods Department is essentially unchanged but will be divided into three units within it, covering Editorial Policy & Publication; Review Production & Quality; and Methods Research & Development.
You can see a full overview of the structural changes and a presentation, entitled ‘Working Better Together’ we developed to introduce and explain the realignment to CET staff. Last week we launched recruitment processes for two new Senior Management Team positions: the new Head of Knowledge Translation Department and the new Head of Membership, Learning & Support Services and I hope that you will have a close look at the two job descriptions.
I am also delighted to inform you of two further items of news. Firstly, that we have started activating Cochrane membership accounts as part of the next phase of our membership programme. Everybody who has contributed to Cochrane in the past is being informed that they are eligible for membership and being asked to activate their membership account. Please activate your account as soon as you see that email and urge others to do the same - everyone needs to take this step to confirm their Cochrane membership. Launched in the last quarter of 2017, Cochrane’s Membership scheme is the critical organizational initiative that will enable us to grow our collaboration and attract many new people with a wider range of experience and skills into our work, but an important foundation of the scheme is ensuring that those Cochrane collaborators already listed on our Archie database want to continue their involvement with us.
Secondly, we are proud to be announcing the official launch of the first Cochrane Review Group Networks: Cochrane Cancer, and Cochrane Public Health and Health Systems. The new CRG Networks provide an opportunity to optimize leadership and support at a new editorial level within Cochrane; and you will be hearing more about their work from our newly-appointed Senior Editors later this week.
If you have any questions about the new Central Executive Team structure, please do not hesitate to contact me or another member of the Senior Management Team. We are confident that these changes will improve our support to you; and help us all to achieve our Strategy to 2020 goals over the next three years.
With my very best wishes,
Mark G. Wilson
Chief Executive Officer