Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Could You Do with a Lawyer on Your Board?
Statistics from America suggest two interesting things about board membership: A lawyer/director increases an organisation’s value by 9.5%; and The number of lawyer/directors in America has doubled in recent times But if you have a lawyer on your board, what’s your experience? The reality is that any good board member needs to perform to the five governance commandments: Be able to contribute to strategy See opportunities and threats Be willing to challenge management Make decisions, not just express views Be clear thinkers with good judgement Lawyers, or even accountants or retired politicians don’t have a mortgage on these qualities.
Robust Strategic Leadership in Greater Need than Ever
An awakening to current economic realities and the search for efficiencies by state and federal governments has triggered a period of transformational reform – spurring leaders of non-profit organisations to reassess the viability of their models and make a raft of critical strategic decisions. Recent policy changes, such as the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), have had far-reaching effects, impacting large well-established organisations as well as a variety of smaller operations.
Darren Fittler on Knowing Your Organisation’s Purpose
In this video, Darren Fittler – Lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin – discusses the strategic value of understanding your organisation’s purpose, not just what your organisation does. Darren facilitated a workshop entitled “Never Forget Your Purpose…Ever!” at the Better Boards Conference 2015. See more speakers like Darren at the Better Boards Conference.
A New Revolution: Breaking Down the Governance Bastille?
Do you ever wonder why everyone keeps telling us in NFP governance, that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and then proceeds to tell us precisely what ‘best practice’ dictates about how we must govern? The body of ‘best practice’ lore usually comes from asking questions about how things are done in comparable organisations. For a start, the answers are too often based on looking at how things are done in non-comparable large listed corporations.
Unleashing the Power of Purpose
In Aaron Hurst’s book ‘The Purpose Economy’, he says “purpose comes when we know we have done something that we believe matters, to others, to society, and to ourselves.” Hurst believes that the nature of purpose is often misunderstood, a point of particular relevance to leaders of for-purpose (not-for-profit) organisations both at board and executive level. Our suggestion is that there is untapped potential in connecting to the power of purpose – both at an individual and organisational level.
Seat Warmers and Saboteurs – Dealing with Difficult Directors
Communication breakdown and relationship failure within a board are a challenge for many organisations. Some of the stories we hear most commonly from directors at Better Boards are related to challenging relationships within the boardroom. Governance is not a solitary activity – it involves sharing and debating ideas, but also cooperation. The capacity of the board to come together for decision-making can have a direct impact on its effectiveness. Sometimes these types of conflict are fleeting, unforeseeable or just a blowing-off of steam, but in other more serious instances, they are the result of an underlying dysfunction in the group such as a poor board culture, or simply an individual board member who is a bad fit for the board or for the role.
Increasing Board Opportunities for Young Women
Closing the leadership gap for young women is a formidable challenge, however there is no excuse for accepting the status quo. There is compelling evidence to suggest that organisations perform better when women are well represented at senior levels and in the boardroom. This is referred to as the business case for gender diversity. Women perform better academically and are now graduating from tertiary institutions at higher rates than men. This has created a pool of well-educated, talented and ambitious women who are valuable resources for business and organisations.
The Gardener or the Lawyer? Who to Call First When Making Governance Change in NFPs
Not-for-profit governance is awash with change in Australia. Some organisations are moving from being incorporated associations under state law to Companies Limited by Guarantee under the Commonwealth’s Corporations Act. Others are replacing representative boards with skills-based boards. And still others are investigating ways of replacing old federated structures with new national ones. As any lawyer can explain, these changes are all relatively easy to make from a structural point of view.