Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
Why External Coaching for Your Executives is Critical
There are very few safe harbours in the world these days and for the isolated CEO or executive carrying all the pressure, providing them with one will make a significant difference to their performance and longevity, and through them, the organisation. It doesn’t matter how smart, insightful or even self-aware you are, getting a quality, external perspective helps. Someone to help sort the important from the urgent, who doesn’t have a vested interest in anything other than your success.
Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk (But with Heart)
Introduction: Fiduciary Duty (Have a Heart) Board members have fiduciary duties that include acting in good faith in the best interests of their organisation, avoiding conflicts with their own personal interests, acting with reasonable care, skill and diligence and not using their positions to misuse information, gain profits or obtain benefits for themselves or for anyone else.1 Put another way, board members need to have a heart to create a culture in which the organisation’s strategy arises out of its inherent values.
The Touchy Subject of CEO Dismissal
Firing the CEO can be one of the most difficult decisions a board can make – it will also be among the most critical. However, many boards, including those of non-profit organisations, will resist bringing up the need to fire their CEOs, while other boards will be far too quick to fire their chief executives. There are many reasons a board may be slow to act when it comes to CEO dismissal:
Technology for Innovation and Development
Technology innovation can be absolutely critical for an organisation’s growth. How we harness its potential relies on identifying both the current obstacles and the future opportunities for business development. It’s about asking staff and customers what they need and identifying how things can be done differently or better. It’s about considering the technology that already exists and whether it can be adapted to a different industry. If it doesn’t exist, it becomes a question of finding out who can help develop it.
Streamlining the Work of the Board
Most of the directors on not-for-profit (NFP) boards are unpaid. Many have full-time jobs, other directorships and family obligations. Putting the time they donate to good use is respectful as well as beneficial to the organisation. “Some boards waste a lot of time on management issues so directors must be very clear about their role and where their responsibilities end”, says Sallie Saunders, Principal Consultant with Building Better Boards and an experienced board member.
Adaptive Governance… Transformational Leadership
For boards of community businesses (NFPs) the move to a customer-driven, competitive marketplace is a radical departure from their known industry/sector context to which they and their management team were perfectly adapted. When any industry or sector undergoes a radical paradigm shift, it presents all boards, chief executive officers and executive teams with the dilemma of: do we disrupt our organisation, that is seriously transform our organisation, re-engineer our business model and reinvent our culture to ensure we are part of the new paradigm?
The Board Portal: An essential part of your boardroom?
The adoption of online board portals is part of a growing trend of embracing e-governance in both non-profit and corporate boardrooms. The expanded use of technology in the boardroom can be very cost-effective, boost efficiency and is a real time-saver for both board members and support staff. It also opens up in-your-own-time opportunities for directors to communicate and collaborate outside of board meetings. This article will hopefully clarify how board portals work, and help you to make a more informed decision about whether your organisation could benefit from a greater use of technology in the boardroom.
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.
Learning for Purpose: Researching & Realising Not-for-Profit Capability Development
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.