Articles on Governance and Leadership in Purpose Driven Organisations.
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.
Who regulates the governance of NFPs in Australia?
The administration of NFPs is a complex business in Australia. Whether an organisation is regulated by a state-based or Commonwealth body will largely depend on its legal structure, but certain organisations may face additional regulation based on their activities, for example if they are a charity or part of a highly regulated sector such as aged care. Consequently, dozens of statutory bodies are involved in the regulation of the governance of NFPs across the country and it can be difficult to ensure your board is meeting all of its necessary requirements and importantly to know where to seek advice if something goes wrong.
Mitigating the Risk of Abuse: Listening to Consumers, Carers and Staff
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.
A Merger By Any Other Name Is Just As Sweet
‘Mergers’ are becoming a commonly discussed topic in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector, and with good reason – they have the potential for long-term benefits for all parties involved. Our experience has shown, however, that it is common for NFPs to feel apprehensive about the prospect of merging since: boards and working cultures must be responsive and cooperative towards a merger; a proposed merger could be resisted, poorly received or opposed due to the emotional investment of board members, staff, members, volunteers and funders; and a merger takes careful and considerable planning, time and money.
Board Member Remuneration Report 2016
The Better Boards NFP Board Member Remuneration Report 2016 explores the make up of Australasian not-for-profit boards and their remuneration practices. The report provides a unique snapshot of the dynamics of Australasian not-for-profit boards and provides insights to help you understand the changes in board structures and remuneration practices. Through this 40 page report Better Boards aims to provide valuable insight to not-for-profit organisations, boards, board members and others in the not-for-profit sector on the topics of board remuneration and structure.
All Your Eggs in the One Basket? The Importance of Diversifying Income for NFPs
Boards no doubt want to see their organisations deliver impact long into the future. And grow this impact, too. Unpredictable government funding and increasingly competitive philanthropy makes it hard to plan out future growth without the safety net of financial sustainability. Sustainability is not a year-to-year proposition, but by its very nature a long-term pursuit with short-term actions. It allows the capacity to plan ahead with predictability, and decrease dependencies on revenue streams that are out of your control.
Leadership Succession Management as an Ongoing Governance Discipline
A board’s primary responsibility for the succession of the senior leadership of an organisation is increasingly acknowledged in light of clear evidence that inevitable changes in these positions often cause preventable disruptions to corporate performance. Australia, which previously has been lagging its counterparts in the US and the UK1, has recently tightened its governance guidelines to make boards more accountable for directly overseeing the succession of all key management positions2. As this translates into one of the most ‘hands on’ roles of a board, how can directors ensure that an effective approach is being implemented?
How Well Is Your Board Managing its Scarcest Resource?
As a board, the time spent together in meetings is scarce and managing it well is important for your productivity, director engagement and governance effectiveness. You only have a few hours together a month and it is important to use that time well. Even if your meetings run smoothly, attention to how you use time can help your board be more productive and effective. Time is the scarcest resource; if it is not managed, nothing else can be