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ASO Emerging Thinking About Board Governance Pat Bradshaw, Schulich School of Business.

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Presentation on theme: "ASO Emerging Thinking About Board Governance Pat Bradshaw, Schulich School of Business."— Presentation transcript:

1 ASO Emerging Thinking About Board Governance Pat Bradshaw, Schulich School of Business

2 Agenda 9:00 to 9:30Arrivals, coffee and networking 9:30 to 9:45Welcome, Agenda, Objectives and Ground Rules 9:45 to 10:30Check-ins and Sharing of Current Leadership Hot Topics 10:30 to 11:00Presentation by Pat Bradshaw on Governance 11:00 to 11:30Small Group Discussions 11:30 to 11:45Sharing of Key Insights 11:45 to 12:00Wrap-up and Check-outs ASO

3 Objectives 1. Networking, support and fun! 2. Overview of board models and emerging thinking about governance 3. Reflections about implications of the models for your board and for the sector

4 ASO Responsibilities of the Board Mission Protection Strategic Planning and Stewardship Resource Development and Fund Raising Human Resources and Hiring and Evaluation of the ED/CEO Community Relations, Environmental Scanning and Outreach Accountability/ Fiduciary Responsibilities Self Assessment and Board Evaluation Ambassadorial and Legitimating

5 ASO What is Governance? Governance is one of the most frequently used and least understood terms in use today We act on the assumption that it is important but are we confusing leadership, management and governance?

6 ASO Chait, Ryan and Taylor Governance as Leadership - Three Modes Type 1 Fiduciary Type 2 Generative Type 3 Strategic

7 ASO Bradshaws Definitions Governance and Leadership are defined as follows and they are different functions that must be performed somewhere in the organization –Leadership - Creating the compelling vision or story for the organization –Management - Implementing the Vision –Governance - Loyal Opposition and challenging the vision

8 ASO What Researchers Know Correlation between board and organizational effectiveness The governance function is important Nonprofits go through predictable life cycles and stages of governance There is a power dynamics between board and staff There is no normative best model Search for new models and metaphors Power of a contingency framework

9 ASO Woods Life Cycle Model Founding Period Super-Managing Phase Corporate Phase Ratifying Phase

10 ASO Carver Model Role of the board is trustee not volunteer- helper or watchdog-controller Focus on the vision and not become short- term, reactive and swamped in details Set guidelines or policies and clearly differentiate roles of board and staff Set the ends and the means

11 ASO Typology of Power Relations Rubber Stamp/CEO Dominated Fractionalized Chair Dominated Disorganized Alternative/ Power Sharing

12 ASO A Contingency Perspective Choice of an Ideal Governance Model depends on: –Environment –Decision Makers World View –Structure/ Power Relations –Strategy –Technology –Organizational Culture

13 ASO Stable Turbulent Simple Complex Policy Governance Configuration Entrepreneurial Governance Configuration Constituency or Federated Governance Configuration Emergent Cellular Governance Configuration Typology of Governance Configurations

14 ASO Policy Governance Configuration of Board Characteristics and Processes more formalization (e.g. clear agendas, policies well established) more formal committees (e.g. fixed structures with clear mandates) clarity of roles and responsibilities between board and staff larger size more homogeneity of board members more bureaucratic and hierarchical traditional/ mainstream ideology (e.g. taken for granted assumptions about legitimacy of existing power relationships and little focused on change) proactive and long term strategic planning processes, board tends to approve rather than participate in creation of the plan, defender strategy

15 ASO Entrepreneurial Board Configuration less formalization (e.g. fewer policies and less bureaucracy) less bureaucratic and more action oriented and business like fewer committees smaller size less clarity of roles and responsibilities (e.g. overlap of board and staff roles) more focus on efficiency and getting the work done more centralized more emergent strategic planning processes with board and staff participation, more prospector approach to strategy

16 ASO Constituency Configuration more formalization (e.g. clear agendas, policies well established) more formal committees (e.g. fixed structures with clear mandates) clarity of roles and responsibilities between board and staff more diverse membership (e.g. elected representatives from membership, constituency representation etc.) larger size more conflict about the mission and the need to represent various constituents more decentralization proactive strategic planning processes

17 ASO Emergent Cellular Configuration less formalization e.g. informal board practices fewer fixed committees and more fluid with task forces and temporary committees more diverse membership (attempt to be inclusive of multiple stakeholders and constituents) more alternative or non-mainstream ideologies (e.g. feminist, anti-oppression and social justice) smaller board size more decentralized and less hierarchical emergent strategic planning processes and board staff and sometimes community impact into the process

18 ASO Contingency Model/ It All Depends Environment stable Power Relations centralized Values/Ideology traditional Strategy proactive Structure Hierarchical turbulent decentralized alternative emergent heterarchy

19 ASO David Renz Reframing Governance Seeing emergence of new governance models at new levels Systems perspective Focus on Community Needs Interorganizational alliances and networks of relationships

20 ASO Results of a National Survey of Diversity on Canadian Nonprofit Boards Patricia Bradshaw & Christopher Fredette

21 ASO Context of the Study According to the 2001 census, 28% of the total population was born outside of Canada, which is the highest level in 70 years (Badets, 2003). An aging population, declining birth rates and global competition for talent pose a threat to organizations looking to attract top talent to lead them to future success (Parris, Cowan & Huggett, 2006). The Conference Board of Canada predicts that members of visible minorities will comprise approximately 20 percent of the population and approximately 18 percent of the workforce by 2016 (Antunes et. al, 2006). Literature is largely normative and speculative with many creative suggestions for enhancing diversity and empirical work is largely fragmented and contested.

22 ASO Sample National Survey of Canadian nonprofit organizations Membership of Imagine Canada with 30% response rate (n = 236) Respondent was ED/CEO or Board Chair Large organizations (mean budget $981,426) Average age 42 years Median number of full time staff of 11 Mostly located in Ontario 26% in health and 25% in social welfare

23 ASO Women hold almost 44% of seats on boards Composition of the Boards

24 ASO Executive Director Ethnic Origin/ Visible Minority Status

25 ASO Functional inclusion - goal-driven and purposeful strategies for increased inclusion of individuals identified as from diverse or traditionally marginalized communities. Social inclusion – participation in the interpersonal dynamics and cultural fabric of the board based on meaningful relational connections and authentic engagement as whole- members of the board, avoiding marginalization and alienation.

26 ASO Inclusion

27 ASO Board Policies Addressing Inclusion Creating board policies related to recruitment and retention based on differences such as race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation and/or gender for example Printed board policies related to discrimination and anti-oppression Practices to Enhance Inclusion Including diversity considerations during board self-assessments Incorporating issues of diversity in the board's work plans and in its strategic plans Attempting to reflect the demographic characteristics of clients, community, or members in the board composition Making the Business Case for Diversity and communicating it to build support for diversity Recruitment Practices to Attract Diversity Advertising for board members in ethno-specific publications Partnering with ethno-cultural organizations to make them aware of available positions and to help identify qualified candidates Building links to services that search for or match you with qualified board members Board Structure Creating a Diversity Committee tasked with making the board more inclusive Using Board Committees as a training context for members of diverse communities so they are well prepared to join the board Approaches to Functional Inclusion

28 Social Inclusion mentorship and coaching, orientation practices and other group building processes such as retreats and workshops holding meetings at times and in locations where everyone could attend (e.g. in locations with elevators in order to be accessible to those with physical disabilities, with signing for the deaf, or on days that accommodate religious holidays) food served accommodated dietary restrictions and cultural preferences of different members. sensitivity to use of humour and ensuring that conversations about sports teams and summer cottages not marginalizing or silencing people or exhibiting unconscious privilege strong and welcoming organizational culture was depicted as another way of increasing feelings of inclusion ASO


30 Nested Governance: Preliminary Thoughts Pat Bradshaw Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto

31 Latest Academic Thinking about Governance Boards are Dead….Long Live Governance Governance is a set of Functions that can be separated from the structure of the autonomous and independent board Latest research is on complex governance structures, such as federations and other nested configurations, but we are in early stages of that research June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

32 Nested Governance June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

33 June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion Challenges - System Blindness –spatial blindness--where we see the part but not the whole –temporal blindness--where we see the present but not the past –relational blindness--where we miss the reoccurring patterns of relationship between groups – process blindness--where we miss the common patterns of social behavior occurring within a group. »From Barry Oshry

34 Complex Governance Structures Central organization with semi-autonomous local organizations that affiliate together History is important (formed by collaboration of autonomous local organizations or through the differentiation of a single, central organization) Combine the potential for flexibility and overall effectiveness – with tensions! To the extent that organizations have decentralized and relatively autonomous decision centers, they can adapt to environmental changes quickly, in accordance with local needs and pressures. On the other hand with centralized organizations, once they do recognize environmental pressures require changes, the rate of change may be much faster. June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

35 June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion Existing Thinking – No Normative Ideal Model! Denis Young and Associates – Nested governance structures are complex, tension filled and challenging – They fall into more than one structural configuration and there is a role for Strategic Choices regarding which form is selected given the external environment –Contingency variables that are related to effectiveness include: Leadership Organizational Identity Structure Strategy History Mission/Objectives

36 Mapping Types of Multi – Organizations (Cornforth, 2010) June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion Central Control Local Control Standardized Non- Standardized Federation Confederation Unitary Corporation Corporation with Subsidiaries Franchise Trade Association Umbrella Body Networks/Alliances

37 David Brown – Architecture Federations Confederations June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

38 Assessing Structures Flexibility and responsiveness to local needs Democratic decision making, inclusive and able to accommodate conflict amongst constituents Balanced participation from different regions Overall Impact (Networking, Convening, Information Sharing, Advocacy, Brokering, Service Provision) June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

39 Across Level Processes to Consider Clarification of the Mission (often embedded duality with conflict or an integrating metaphor) Processes to Share Governance via Clarifying Roles & Responsibilities Accountability Brand Safeguarding Mechanisms for Association and for Disassociation Conflict Resolution Communication processes (Board to Board and Board to Staff and Staff to Staff) Resource Sharing June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

40 Emerging Governance Research Facilitating – Directing - Disengaging Staffing Considerations – staff who can transitions and translate the mission Orchestrating Communications – use of technology, meetings, and groups/boards Standard setting – unifying rules and procedures Unifying Rhetoric – common vision and limits to local discourses June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

41 Nested Governance – Paradoxical? June 2011 MS Society Board Discussion

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