April 9, 2019

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Eric Phinney

New Ways of doing things

As we continue our cruise up the coast of North America in the Intracoastal Waterway, we have visited many cities and towns.  We have embraced many new ideas and come to understand that there are many ways of doing things.    

Today, as we went ashore in Charleston, SC to get some groceries, we saw two new approaches to different things.  As we came into the public dock with our dinghy, we noticed there seemed to be an unusual number of people fishing, in several different ways. I will come back to this in a moment.   

 We then heard the sound of folk music coming from a large fenced- in park area that was full of dogs!  This needed to be investigated.  The event was called “Woofstock.”  It was a fundraiser for 7 different animal rescue centres in the Charleston area.   Bands were playing, there were vendors, and all in a dog friendly environment!  My thought at the time was, “You can’t make this stuff up.”  After we got our groceries, we saw people lining up to get in.    

When we got back to the dock we saw that there were even more people fishing.  We asked one of the people what was going on.   He pointed to a woman at the end of the pier and told us it was her thing.  When we talked to the woman it turned out to be an Airbnb experience.    Learn all the different ways to catch crabs!  There were fishing lines, nets, traps and chicken legs tied to strings.  She said that she was now out almost every day giving instruction to people about the traditional ways people would catch blue crab (a common food of the area). 

Here were two groups doing something that departed from the norm and having a great experience with a new approach.   

It reminded me of the moment I began to experience the power and grace that Policy Governance®held as a way to run a board of directors.  I was intrigued and could not get enough information fast enough.  I had been on many boards and often found myself frustrated as I attempted to provide leadership.   Something was always missing.  Sure, we had bylaws and a general habit of how to run our meetings, but I was looking for something more.  I found that something in Policy Governance.  It certainly took some learning and some commitment, but in the end it would prove to be a model that could help in any corporate entity I could imagine.

I have met many people who have tried Policy Governance and through their commitment to better governance, have successfully implemented the model. They have used the model as the system it was designed to be with application of all ten principles, without leaving out bits they found challenging at first.Policy Governance is an innovative way of doing really comprehensive, creative, adaptive governance that ticks all the boxes for best practice.  Why not give it a try?

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