Articles about governance in non-profit organisations.
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.
When should you schedule your board meetings?
When should you schedule your board meetings? In this short video Raph Goldsworthy (Managing Director, Better Boards) talks about how your chronotype and the chronotype of each board member should influence when you choose to schedule your board meetings. Key Points Due to our chronotype there are optimal times we are best at strategic thinking and decision-making. Looking at the chronotype’s of your board members can help you consider the optimal time of day to hold board meetings Transcript
Your Guide to More Effective Board Meetings
Most people know that meetings of any kind can be unproductive, and unfortunately board meetings are no exception. In many cases, board meetings are even more unproductive than everyday office meetings. Why? We can point to any number of reasons: personality clashes between board members, high-stress topics, and organisational or community politics can cause no end of problems. But most unproductive board meetings (and board problems in general) are actually caused by structural choices or assumptions.
Meeting Minutes, An Essential Guide for Directors
Important decisions are made all the time in the boardroom and accurate meeting minutes are crucial as a record of those decisions and discussions. Taking minutes, though, can seem like a time-consuming chore. But, as high profile legal cases have shown, minutes are increasingly being used as a way to determine whether directors are properly performing their duties and responsibilities. How to take good minutes Lawyer Brian Herd summarises minutes as “a true and accurate record of the meeting”, which must contain “clear and concise notes of main discussion points, be accurate and a clear register of decisions”.
Decoding the Ethical Framework
Revelations about the governance failings in some of our most iconic organisations is again challenging our paradigms about how organisations are, or can be, controlled and held accountable. Attention has turned to Ethical Frameworks to hammer morality back into corporate governance. So what is this new development, albeit one two and a half thousand years in the making? Time to decode the Ethical Framework. As the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry rolls on, more questions are being asked about how effective governance is achieved.
Customer-Centricity and Creating Better Social Outcomes
How important do you think customers are for your not-for-profit (NFP) organisation to achieve its objectives? Can you see the relationship between customer-centricity and your organisation’s goals to create better social outcomes? In this article, I invite you to explore the concept of customer-centricity in NFP organisations, understand its values, as well as present some case studies to demonstrate how this approach can help your organisation to create better social outcomes.
Could Your Board Be Asking Better Questions?
In accordance with Section 180 of the Corporations Act (2001), ‘A director or other officer of a corporation must exercise their powers and discharge their duties with the degree of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise’. Section 180 also includes the Business Judgment Rule, whereby to demonstrate that a director has exercised due care and diligence, a director should be able to demonstrate that they acted in good faith, made the judgment in good faith for a proper purpose, did not have a material personal interest in the judgment, informed themselves about the subject matter of the judgment to the extent they reasonably believed to be appropriate, and rationally believed the judgment to be in the best interests of the corporation.
Customer-Centric Governance… Customer is King, Cashflow is Queen
In a challenging, competitive customer-driven environment Customer-Centric Governance is critical for boards to adopt to ensure their organisation keeps on winning in the future. The need to balance and integrate ‘heads and hearts’ with ‘business and service’ is becoming increasingly more challenging, yet more compelling for directors, chief executive officers and executives (leadership teams) of community businesses (NFPs). Integrating and balancing an organisation’s business objectives and outcomes in the new customer-driven, competitive marketplace with existing or future service objectives and outcomes is a tough call, particularly given that many leadership teams remain oriented to the government-funded welfare mentality and approach.
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.