Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Keeping it Simple by Emphasising Purpose
Complexity abounds in modern organisations, including in their boards. Many organisations – of all sizes – are run as if they are bureaucracies, with lots of hierarchy and lots of organisational rules. Of course, some hierarchy and some rules can be appropriate and can help organisations achieve their missions. However, there is an increasing trend towards challenging bureaucracies from thought leaders such as Ricardo Semler of Brazilian company Semco; Frederic Laloux and his influential book Reinventing Organizations; and Yves Morieux of Boston Consulting Group and his six rules for simplifying organisations.
How Cost Effective is Your Board?
The job of the board is to direct. That involves making decisions about what to do, how to organise, and who to engage with to further the purpose of the organisation. Those decisions, if taken reasonably and well, will require management support. Increased demands for governance reporting and enhanced diversity will impact not-for-profit company boards in many ways. The three of the most feared are: a possible imposition of direct board costs as new independent professional directors demand recompense for the time, effort and risk involved in the role the increased cost of servicing a larger board, especially in the crucial first few months of each appointment when directors’ demands for information are often at their highest the ever growing costs of providing reports requested or expected by external stakeholders that are diligently reviewed by the board yet add little value to their decision-making.
The Three-Wheel Framework of Customer-Centricity
We are now living in a world where customers have more choices than ever before and organisations face the challenge of distinguishing themselves from the dozens of nearly identical providers, products and services. Adopting a customer-centric approach is one approach to tackling this test for organisations. What is customer-centricity? Customer-centricity refers to the strategy of putting customers front and centre in the organisation’s strategy and activities. Customer-centric organisations are designed from the outside in: defining who the customer is, what they care about, and how they interact with the organisation.
Are you ‘Processful’ or ‘Purposeful’ – A Governance Dilemma
I recently went overseas to a country that I knew would challenge me in many ways… an experience I relished. I enjoyed what the country had to offer in attractions and experiences, and observed a growing economy striving to adopt as much western culture as possible. This seemed impressive on the surface, however, the more I got curious the more I noticed the ‘busyness’ of the people: they were busy trying to be efficient but, were failing to be effective.
Association Boards: Getting to "Yay!"
Board consensus is not about reaching lowest common denominator, grudging agreements, but about making decisions together that board members accept and can actively support, particularly when communicating them to stakeholders and association members. While all boards have their unique quirks and strengths, association boards can face particular challenges in reaching genuine consensus for action on major strategic issues. Here are three key challenges I’ve identified as experienced by many associations, and some practical, easy-to-implement ideas for overcoming them.
How Innovation Can Help You Do More With Less
There is probably not a single organisation in Australia that is trying to do less work with more resources. It simply doesn’t happen. On the flipside, thousands of organisations both in the public and private sectors are trying to do more with less – a much more challenging proposition. The role for innovation in solving this proposition is a significant one. However, many companies associate innovation solely with customer-facing, product or service innovations.
It would be hard to find a business that did not place customer-centricity as a priority and not-for-profits have in recent times started to catch on. However, customers for many not-for-profit organisations will differ from that of a for-profit organisation. For not-for-profits, the “customer” could range from the beneficiaries of the organisation, to their supporters, stakeholders, members or clients. Customer-Centric Constitution Customer-centricity will often require a cultural shift, and fundamental to any sort of cultural shift in this sector is an organisation’s documentation.
Why Millennials Could Be the Missing Link in Your Boardroom
When it comes to non-executive board positions, Millennials (or Gen Y) are often snubbed in favour of more experienced directors, or overlooked entirely. However, they could be the key to creating the perfect balance in your boardroom. Of all publicly listed companies in Australia, about 2% of their directors are under the age of 45. The stats are better for the non-profit world but I’d wager that very few of these positions are filled by people under 30.
What to Look for During Customer-Centric Transformation
Government reforms in NDIS and Aged Care mean many for-purpose service providers must transform to become customer-centred organisations and many are struggling in this journey. To complete any successful business transformation, CEOs must have four foundations in place – the right language, leadership, people and business model. Whether your organisation is transitioning to a customer-centric model by deploying a new company-wide IT system, merging to provide a national footprint or trying to re-engineer your culture, these are all forms of business transformation.
Why Listen? How Listening Skills Can Improve Your Board
When people talk about communication skills for the C-suite or the boardroom, many think of speaking or presenting. Communication is seen as how we share our ideas, our knowledge, our opinions, our hopes, fears and aspirations with others. We communicate to influence others, to tell them what to do or think, to warn them, to advise them, to challenge or confront them. We use our words to achieve many goals.