Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven 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.
Critical Success Factors for Social Enterprises
We asked Michael Dawson, CEO of CBB the not4profit people about what advice he had for organisations in the early stages of starting up. He shared with us his seven critical success factors for start-up social enterprises. This article is extracted from a longer interview conducted with Michael for the podcast SproutCast. 1. Put your mission first “The first of our critical success factors is to have a very strong focus on mission… We need to have a focus, a clear articulation of our purpose and in Simon Sinek’s language: our “why”.
Growing Capacity in the face of continuous and complex change There is so much talk about the need for “leadership”. Whenever things get difficult, up goes the call – “someone please help us get out of this mess” (at no cost to ourselves)! In an ever faster, more complex world, organisations face difficult change and uncertainty. Even new possibilities present complexity. Corporates have to navigate shifting markets and global competition: yesterday’s leading companies may be tomorrow’s basket cases.
Dealing with Disputes in the Boardroom
In accordance with their fiduciary duties to the organisation, directors have a responsibility to implement good governance. The board is expected to operate collegially. Each director brings to the boardroom their own particular skills, knowledge and experience, and has a duty to apply that skills, knowledge and experience. An effective board seeks to stimulate the flow of ideas, identify key issues, consider alternatives and make informed decisions. To do so requires often-vigorous debate, which can sometimes turn into conflict, but there are many more reasons why issues might arise.
The Power of People and Collaboration to Create Lasting Change
Whether they see themselves as leaders or not, those who have the drive and passion to create social change are the people we need to back. We need to invest time, energy and resources into creating opportunities for these individuals to connect and collaborate, so they can develop new approaches and new ways of thinking if we are to overcome the tough social issues facing Australians today. The social problems we face today are complex and far-reaching.
The Power of Your Stories
Often when I’m working with not-for-profit (NFP) organisations, I find myself sitting opposite a member of the Board. I look across the desk and see an accomplished, sincere and, let’s face it, very busy person and I’m always shaking my head and asking: ‘Why do they give their time? What moved them to put up their hand?’ I’m not sure many board members ask themselves these same questions though – except perhaps when facing frustrations or juggling competing priorities.
The Continuing Convergence of Governance Between Not-for-profit and For-profit Boards
The Role of Government Reform in the Continuing Convergence of Governance Between Not-for-profit Boards and For-profit Boards The convergence of governance of not-for-profit boards towards the modes of governance more typically seen in for-profit boards continues to gather pace as part of a broader, although not entirely consistent, pattern of convergence of corporate governance globally. Whilst this convergence reflects a range of expectations or demands imposed, either directly or indirectly, by various stakeholders of not-for-profit organisations, government, as the only common stakeholder across the whole of the not-for-profit sector, has played an increasingly pivotal role in this process and in particular, a multitude of government reforms have been at the centre of this on-going convergence.
Passion and Professionalism: Legal Duties of a Volunteer Board
Identify what you’re missing… and then work out how to get it! Effective not-for-profit boards possess a winning combination of passion and professionalism. It is crucial that all board members understand the personal legal responsibilities they assume when they become a director of a board. Regardless of their connection to the cause, a person should not accept a directorship or remain as director without the appropriate skills and competence to perform their role.
Board Perspectives: Key Skills for Making Constructive Contributions
Board effectiveness and competency are influenced by a great many factors. Arguably a critical factor is the skills held by board members and how these are used in concert to strengthen both the board and the organisation. To get to the bottom of what key skills should be required of all board members in order to contribute effectively in the boardroom, we put the word out to our network. We asked board members from a range of Australian non-profit organisations their perspective on this issue and the results were fascinating.
Inside Tips for Creating a Strategic Board
This article was written by Elise Sernik and Barb Barkley of Leadership Space Many leaders want to create a better board for their organisation but are stumped as to how to go about it in a way that fits with their values. Whether you are a Chair, Director or CEO, the prospect of trying to take your board on a journey of self-improvement leaves many people feeling some combination of wary, overwhelmed and even just plain queasy!