Author's Name: Mark Schultz
Date: Mon 01 Feb 2016

2016 – A year of good governance?

2015 produced the usual array of bad behaviour at board level, either as a result of specific initiatives or as a result of negligence or failure to under the duties and responsibilities expected and required of a board member of both a commercial and non-profit organisation. So what are some of the fundamental practices a board should have in place to ensure it does not join the list of non performing boards?   

Non-executive directors of non-profit organisations are faced with ever increasing demands on their time, energy and expertise to ensure that the organisations they govern meet the compliance and performance expectations that underpin a sustainable business. Whilst much has been written on good governance and what it means, to start 2016 we would like to suggest 3 areas that boards should focus on to meet their obligations:

Commitment: to understanding the business of the organisation, the sector in which it operates   and to applying the necessary time and effort to the job at hand – there is no room for seat-warmers or glory seekers at the board table;

Compliance vs. performance: getting the balance right, both are important and required , however it is performance that will deliver sustainability; define what sustainability is for your organisation and then work towards achieving this this position; and 

Capacity & capability: does the organisation have what is required to deliver its mission; an open and honest assessment of this most critical component of long term success.

We know there are many other areas that require a board member’s attention, however if we start the year with  a recognition that if we attend to these matters as required, then it will be a good start on the journey to good governance.


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