Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Practical Ways To Improve Boardroom Dynamics
It is now widely recognised that board dynamics are a central driver in producing strong organisational outcomes. This involves not only the relationships among board members but also between the board and senior management. However, this can a difficult area for boards to deal with even when dysfunctional relationships are hindering good governance and impeding sound decision‑making. The following are some practical ways in which a board can reinforce or improve its dynamics.
5 Strategies to Measure and Embed Trust in Your NFP
If you have listened to the news in the last 12 months, you would almost be forgiven for thinking organisations are awash with unethical behaviour. Governance failures have shaken community trust in not-for-profits (NFPs), banking institutions, sporting codes and churches. Today, it is no longer feasible for boards to assume all is well in their organisation. In fact, assuming good intent can often lead to blind spots that allow bad conduct to flourish.
From Inc to Ltd: Making the change to Company Limited by Guarantee
Not-for-profit (NFP) organisations face more demand for structure, accountability and transparency than ever before. Not only are there more NFPs that are growing into multi-million and multi-billion dollar entities, but there are also more public and government expectations of NFPs than in the past. In line with this trend, NFPs around Australia have been transferring from incorporated association to company limited by guarantee and this trend continues to grow, especially in increasingly competitive markets.
How to Embed Cultural Safety in Healthcare Governance
Cultural safety for Australia’s First Peoples (which includes the terms Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islanders, and Indigenous Australians) has emerged as a key principle to address for healthcare executives through organisational governance. However, there are no guidelines that Boards Directors can use to restructure their governance practices to become culturally safe. This article provides some cultural safety principles for Board Directors to consider when responding to the demands of legislators, accreditors, professional associations, and healthcare staff for healthcare governance to become culturally safe.
Listen: Take Notice of and Act on What Someone Says
“First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view …until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”1 Many of us have been consumers and carers. Whether it’s shopping, queuing for an event, visiting a GP, picking kids up after school, or supporting an ageing parent.
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.