Like it or not, today’s communication world is different. Newspapers, magazines, television, the telephone and fax machine are being or already have been replaced by the internet through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and others that I probably don’t even know of! So what role does a board and good governance have to play in this world of “right here, right now”?
We have talked in the past about board renewal, diversity and terms of engagement for board members and this logically leads to the same discussion around board chairmen – how long should a chairman remain in this position?... and the answer starts with “it depends!"
Claims of bullying in the workplace are becoming much more frequent and this week has led to the removal of a duly elected local government council after a review by the Victorian State Government. Whilst genuine bullying should never be tolerated, the opportunists amongst us are ready and able to take advantage of the “grey area” in this aspect of organisational management. What then should a Board be doing to take a leadership role in this area?
The current State Government of Victoria has summarily dismissed 4 boards in the past 2 years, namely the boards of the Bacchus Marsh Hospital, Geelong City Council, the CFA and Ambulance Victoria. Whilst each may have had specific and real issues to deal with, the blunt process of sacking the board to deal with the issues at hand is generally a simplistic and politically motivated way to be seen to doing something and “dressed up” as leadership in action!
The AFL continues to be a “gift that keeps on giving” in terms of providing examples on an ongoing basis on how leaders and board members should not behave in the public domain. This week two Chairman of AFL clubs behaved very badly and their personal and Club brands were damaged accordingly. So what was the issue this time?
The number of board members elected to govern an organisation is as an important an issue as the diversity and capabilities of those members. This issue is worth giving due consideration for it is not a simple matter to reduce numbers once the decision has been made. Here are a few thoughts for consideration in your deliberations ..
Whilst no one really likes the idea of managing complaints, it is an essential component of good governance and one that should be embraced by the board. We know that we can learn as much from our mistakes as from what we do right, so having a complaints management system in place will make a valuable contribution to the evolution of our organisations.
During the year we have mainly focused on the duties and responsibilities of board members and at first glance it would appear that it is a one way street in terms of the supply chain in organisational leadership requirements, however board members do have rights and powers and this week we will detail these in general terms.
We present today a simple but effective model for good corporate governance in the non-profit sector – the Value, Capability and Support framework.
Understanding member engagement is critical to the sustainability of any Not-For-Profit organisation. Organisations need to plan for engagement, be clear about how they measure engagement and where ever possible have in place automated systems to collect the data for regular reporting and review of engagement.
About this time of year the majority of Not-for-Profit organisations meet to plan their next year. Will your planning include the production of a budget? How much work will go into producing that budget? How successful has your previous financial planning been? These are questions that your Board should turn it’s mind to.
Whilst technical knowledge and work and life experience are important components of the profile of an effective director of either a non-profit or for profit organisation, there are a number of other skills that should be added to the list of “must have“. This week we will highlight these attributes.
Humans can make “thinking” errors that can greatly impact business outcomes. Self-aware board members should be cognisant of their own biases and put in place systems and processes to ensure the organisation is not derailed by biases and a lack of an evidence based decision making process.
Board members of non-profit organisations are all generally time poor and have competing demands on their attention and focus. However, if an individual accepts a position on a board, then being busy is no excuse for inadequate contribution – if you cannot contribute, don’t nominate. There are a few ways non-profits boards can collectively, and the directors individually, improve their effectiveness and therefore enhance the overall performance of the organisation and these include..
Balancing current necessities against the strategic aims of a not-for-profit is a challenge at every level of an organisation. Alignment of organisational resources and activity to deliver short and long term results consistent with planning objectives eludes many organisations. There is a powerful approach that has proven successful in many organisations – the implementation of Key Result Areas (KRAs) performance management.
Most associations, not-for-profits and clubs in Australia owe their existence, in part or in full, to the work of past and present volunteers. The 9th to the 15th May 2016 is National Volunteer Week which is an appropriate time to reflect on the important contributions of volunteers and ask the question, “Are your volunteers appreciated?”
The longer a Not-for-Profit organisation has existed the higher the likelihood that their operations have become inefficient over time. Your board is responsible for driving the changes in operations that affect viability and sustainability, and ensure that your organisation is efficient and effective.
A board of management has 2 primary functions, namely Compliance and Performance. How your organisation performs over the long term can be dependent upon what your priorities and focus are in relation to these 2 obligations.