Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Asset Protection in a Commercial Environment
Recent activity in the not-for-profit sector has made it clear that many organisations are beginning to operate in a more commercial manner. With such changes occurring, not-for-profit organisations may wish to consider how to best protect their assets. Commercial ventures can, in some instances, create environments in which it is possible that customers or other third parties will sue, increasing the importance of asset-protection. Equally, the commercial activities run by not-for-profits can generate significant income, which is important to protect.
Dealing with Difficult Directors in your Boardroom
The most effective directors are prepared to challenge, probe and speak their minds but this can sometimes cross the line into bombastic, rude or disparaging behaviour. Difficult directors disrupt boards in every sector – but do not-for-profit (NFP) organisations have more than their fair share? “If we take ‘difficult’ to mean having an oversized ego and focusing more on themselves and their goals than the best interests of stakeholders then I’d be inclined to say that they do,” says Warwick Peel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Startup Boardroom at the time of writing.
Learning for Purpose
The ability of Australian Not-for- Profit (NFP) organisations to respond to change and growing demand – to have social impact – substantially depends on the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their people. This is not merely a trivial argument. Instead, multiple empirical research studies show that NFPs that systematically develop their employees and volunteers do better. For instance, a national study analysing field data from 697 Australian NFPs shows that organisational human resource development practices and policies positively affect organisational competence and capability.
Adaptive Directorship: Creating Organisations that Flourish in Unpredictable Environments
The following is intended to be the beginning of a discussion: A pathway to opening up the discourse on what attributes, beyond pure technical skills, individual boards must possess in order to help their organisations thrive in a world that is constantly changing and is, to put it simply, unpredictable. This is not meant to be prescriptive, but rather to present ideas to get you thinking about what practising the emerging concept of Adaptive Directorship might mean.
Pulling in the Same Direction – How to be an Effective Board
To chart an effective strategic course for any organisation, the board needs to be a high-performing team. However, it is common for boards to spend little time articulating and developing how they want to operate as a team. This can make strong governance and strategic change much harder to achieve. Progress is slower and decisions are less effective. As leadership and governance expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld has identified, what distinguishes high-performing boards is that they are robust, effective social systems.
Four Types of Problem Solvers – Who Is On Your Board?
All the members of your board might agree on the social change you want to see occur as the result of your work. But the odds are that each person will have a drastically different idea of how to achieve that change, and what the metrics of success should be along the way. These differences can lead to argument and disjuncture. However, they come down to how people fundamentally approach and solve problems.
Why Am I on this Board? One Question, Three Ways
Asking Board members to answer one simple question in three slightly different ways can unearth the reasons they’ve lost their passion. Their answers can also provide vital clues about how to reignite the flame. You’re ploughing your way through another tedious non-profit board meeting and it hits you: What am I doing here? Why aren’t I spending my Saturday relaxing? Where’s my passion gone? Am I making a difference? Why am I so bored?
Difficult Conversations About Director Performance
Every board must discuss difficult issues from time to time – and the right approach can have a positive impact on the outcome. James Birch AM, chairman of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, has found that poor, or less than optimal, performance from the chief executive officer (CEO) tends to top the list of sensitive issues. This is followed by poor performance from a director or the board as a whole.
Can Boardroom Leadership Meet the Challenges of the Future?
Leadership remains the biggest challenge of all for 2013 and beyond. – World Economic Forum Global Agenda Outlook There’s never been more commentary on the challenges facing planet earth (and organisations and boardrooms) than we find entering the 21st century. Humanity is challenged to lift its adaptability index massively. Corporates are more adaptable than governments and are ideally positioned to globally and locally confront the world’s most pressing issues. The boardroom is at the epicenter of corporate action.
Mitigating the Risk of Abuse
In the article The Importance of Being Heard: Using Consumer Analytics for Continual Improvement1 we discussed the importance of engaging with and listening to consumers and using consumer analytics to drive service improvement and responsiveness to clients. Building quality, responsiveness, consumer loyalty and consumers as brand ambassadors is critical within a consumer-driven environment. In this article, I will discuss how the same process can provide an important means to mitigate abuse, neglect and exploitation.