Articles about governance in non-profit organisations.
A New Revolution: Breaking Down the Governance Bastille?
Do you ever wonder why everyone keeps telling us in NFP governance, that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and then proceeds to tell us precisely what ‘best practice’ dictates about how we must govern? The body of ‘best practice’ lore usually comes from asking questions about how things are done in comparable organisations. For a start, the answers are too often based on looking at how things are done in non-comparable large listed corporations.
Increasing Board Opportunities for Young Women
Closing the leadership gap for young women is a formidable challenge, however there is no excuse for accepting the status quo. There is compelling evidence to suggest that organisations perform better when women are well represented at senior levels and in the boardroom. This is referred to as the business case for gender diversity. Women perform better academically and are now graduating from tertiary institutions at higher rates than men. This has created a pool of well-educated, talented and ambitious women who are valuable resources for business and 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.
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.
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!
It’s Not in the Tea Leaves – It’s in the Minutes
The ubiquitous Board Agenda and its progeny, the Minutes are often assigned to a spring back folder and buried on a shelf somewhere. A board meeting and its record, once distributed, approved and stored, can take on an inert, colourless and even meaningless hue only fit for the corporate archives. The Minutes rarely engender much interest let alone controversy except for the anally retentive member who salivates over grammatical boo boos or misspellings.
Information Flow is the New Cash Flow
Information flow is the new cash flow, quite literally, in the case of electronic funds transfer. More metaphorically, in the case of the myriad of electronic transactions collecting, storing and analysing data or those that carry conversations to plan and make decisions. In both cases, if the flow stops, the organisation stops. Yet Information and Communications Technology (ICT) governance lags far behind fiscal governance in most organisations. It begins and ends with minimising costs, fretting about social media and obtaining (often untested) assurances that the back-ups are regularly taken.
Reviewing Your Constitution – Food for Thought
Your constitution (or sometimes referred to as your governing rules or charter) is the document that governs how your Not-for-Profit (NFP) organisation operates. It is a legal document — a contract — and its terms must be complied with at all times. Importance of your constitution Your constitution must comply with the laws that are relevant to your NFP organisation which may be the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), or the Associations Incorporation Act of your State or Territory.
New Directions in Directing
Nothing destroys the spirit of an organization faster than focusing on people’s weaknesses rather than on their strengths, building on disabilities rather than abilities. The focus must be on strength…the greatest mistake is to try to build on weakness. — Peter Drucker Today’s boardrooms are increasingly governed for weakness. Many directors no longer direct their organisation into strength but monitor and cross-examine their management out of fear and an unchallenged acceptance of a failing model of corporate governance.