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Good Governance: The Context for Innovative Board Leadership

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Presentation on theme: "Good Governance: The Context for Innovative Board Leadership"— Presentation transcript:

1 Good Governance: The Context for Innovative Board Leadership
Elizabeth Scott Brighter Strategies

2 Governance The process of providing strategic leadership to a nonprofit organization. It entails the functions of setting direction, making policy and strategy decisions, overseeing and monitoring organizational performance, and ensuring overall accountability. The regulatory bar on board performance is going up. Oversight is necessary but not sufficient to define the work of an effective board. 2

3 Ten Board Responsibilities
Determine organization’s mission and purpose Select the chief executive Support the chief executive and assess performance Ensure effective organizational planning Monitor and strengthen the organization’s programs and services Ensure adequate financial resources Protect assets and provide proper financial oversight Recruit and orient new board members and assess board performance Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability Enhance the organization’s public standing 3

4 Governance as Leadership
The board "decides what to decide"; discerns challenges and opportunities; and probes assumptions, logic and the values behind strategies. Type I Operational Type II Strategic Type III Generative/Visionary

5 Governance Models Type I - Operational Type II - Strategic
Staff and Board define problems and opportunities; develops, approves and monitors formal plans. Board structure parallels administrative functions. Premium on permanency Board meetings are process driven. Function follows form. Protocol rarely varies. Staff transmits to Board large quantities of technical data from few sources. Board and management think together to discover strategic priorities and drivers. Board structure mirrors strategic priorities. Premium on flexibility. Board meetings are content driven. Form follows function. Protocol varies often. Board and staff discuss strategic data from multiple sources.

6 Type III – Generative/Visionary
Exceptional boards institutionalize a culture of inquiry, mutual respect, and constructive debate that leads to sound and shared decision making. They seek more information, question assumptions, and challenge conclusions so that they may advocate for solutions based on analysis. They provide a less recognized but critical source of leadership for the organization. What should be atop the board’s agenda next year? What are the most attractive, least attractive, most worrisome aspects of the proposed strategic plan? What external factors will most affect the organization in the next year? What are we overlooking at the organization’s peril? What is the most valuable step we could take to be a better board?

7 5 Tools for Innovative Board Leadership
Board Assessment for Growth & Development Targeted Recruitment Strong Committee Structure Accountability through Commitment Agreements Focus on Generative Governance (Big Questions) 7

8 Tool #1 Board Assessments
Know who is really on your board What are their motivations for being on your board? Ask your board: When you joined the board, did you have ideas on how you would help the organization that haven’t happened?  What would you like to get to help you be a better board member? How confident are you that most or all board members: Understand the mission and purpose of the organization? Act as ambassadors? Follow through on commitments? Understand the respective roles of the board and staff?

9 Tool #2 Targeted Recruitment
Know who you really need on your board Use a board skills matrix and identify gaps in board needs Recruit individuals who have deep experience On Boarding There should not be any surprises

10 Tool #3 Build Board Committees
Achieve strategic & operational goals Important for carrying out Generative Governance Direct influence on board member engagement Engage non-Board members in committees (pipeline) Well-defined committees Clear strategic & operational focus Written committee descriptions Use Task Forces when necessary An effective committee chair with accountability to the board Members thoughtfully appointed Well-run meetings 10

11 Tool #4 Accountability through Board Member Commitment Agreements
Meet Board member motivations for board service Clarify individual responsibilities & expectations Identify opportunities to provide ED support Use Commitment Agreements 11

12 Tool #5 Identify Big Questions
Establish board priorities Link to strategic planning Keeps board members engaged Implications for board meetings & discussion 12

13 Take it with you! Identify what YOU control and can affect
Just do it! Frame the conversation with board leadership Planning your next strategic plan, board retreat, annual meeting Establishing your annual performance goals Conduct a board assessment Draft a Board Commitment Agreement 13

14 About Us Brighter Strategies is an organizational development firm specializing in strategic planning, process improvement and leadership development for nonprofits and the public sector. Brighter Strategies 6533 Arlington Blvd, #2414 Falls Church, Virginia 22042

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