Resolutions are often a means of adopting specific policies or positions. Businesses, governments and even faith based organizations often employ the use of resolutions as a means of setting policies or authorizing the creation of new committees, departments or other functioning sub-groups within the larger group. The process for effectively writing a resolution is fairly straightforward, and can be adapted to fit just about any situation.
Acquaint yourself with the general format for resolutions. Many people use examples from parliamentary procedure as the guideline for structure and flow of a resolution. Such helpful guides as Robert’s Rules of Order can provide examples of the use of key phrases such as “whereas” and “resolved.”
Define the situation that you believe needs to be addressed. This will often mean focusing in on a core issue that may be impacting a larger issue facing the organization. Be as specific as possible about the nature of this core issue, as this helps to lay the groundwork for demonstrating the relevance of the resolution to the current condition of the organization.
Outline the negative impact created by the current condition of the core issue. The idea is to offer specific examples of how the present status is creating counterproductive situations that are draining the resources of the organization. These examples help to illustrate why some type of action should be taken.
Offer specific recommendations for action that will help to turn the negative situation into a positive one. This is the true meat of the resolution as it moves away from essentially stating why something is wrong, and now offering solutions to correct the problem. As with the identification of the issue and the outlining of why the issue is having a negative effect, be as specific and detailed as possible with the offered solution.
Set the first draft of the resolution aside for a day or two then read it through. Often, you will find small changes in wording come to mind, or possibly the inclusion of more detail that will make the resolution more focused and precise. Incorporate these changes into the body of the proposed resolution and set aside the second draft for a short period. After a second review, if nothing else comes to mind, it is time to present the resolution to the body.
- Failure to be specific in the focus and intent of the resolution is often a great way to have the document be rejected outright, ruled out of order or referred to a committee for consideration where it will die a slow death. Make your case as pointed and detailed as you possibly can.
- Few resolutions make it all the way through a governing body or conference without some adjustments. Do not be upset if someone wishes to substitute a word or phrase for something different. The main purpose of the resolution is to address and issue and come up with a solution.