The REALBoard Advisor takes on a brand new look to bring you articles, information and insights to the Policy Governance® model. Guest interviewer and writer Constance Semler has explored the journey of being a Policy Governance board with board chairs and CEOs of colleges, financial institutions, regulatory and health organizations. Their stories of success will inspire you. Visit our eStore to check out PINGO, our newest game for fun and interactive learning, and other practical knowledge products.
Is Your Board Well-Connected? All of our consultants have contributed to this newsletter to bring you an understanding of boards, owners, stakeholders, and customers. How do you discern who the real owners are? On whose behalf does the board govern? Who is the board’s boss? How do you maintain a perpetual ownership linkage plan? Can you connect with owners through conversation and how do you design linkage conversations? To whom is the board accountable and what are the legal and moral implications of authority? Does your board practice due diligence in fiduciary duties such as care, loyalty and obedience? Read articles by Jannice Moore, Richard Stringham, Rose Mercier, Andrew Bergen, Dee Incoronato and Joseph Inskeep for insight to all of these questions.
Boards invest time and resources learning how to govern well. However, they don’t often realize their investment, remaining at novice or beginner levels. Richard Stringham, in his article “Building Capacity for Future Focus” discusses how to create a legacy vehicle for improved visioning by future boards. He writes about making space for conversations about the future, tapping into futures-thinking methodology, uncertainness, and using policy to embed the culture. Jannice Moore answers 20 questions about policy related board education in an article that addresses customizing policies for your organization, and Andrew Bergen asks, “Will Your Board Make the Playoffs?”, in a discussion about board self-evaluation. In the fourth article, “Polishing the Stones” by Rose Mercier explains why it is important for boards to understand the application of Policy Governance so well they can teach it to future board members. For further exploration of Policy Governance, the Governance Coach™ is offering a full range of open workshops for board members and staff of Policy governance Boards.
When new board members are recruited to be the best fit for the organization, it can be a painless process. Jannice Moore, Richard Stringham, Rose Mercier and Andrew Bergen explore how to define board member characteristics that fit the needs of your organization, how to know when you are ready for recruitment, providing your electorate with all the right information to select candidates, and what to do “if the shoe doesn’t fit” or you’ve chosen the wrong board member. Helpful ideas and our Best-Fit Board Member Matrix will assist you on the path of “best-fit” recruiting. New Resources! The Governance Coach™ is now on You Tube. Check out our instructional videos on Monitoring and CEO Evaluation, and learn how the team at the Governance Coach™ can assist you in implementing Policy Governance® for your board.
Rose Mercier, Associate of The Governance Coach™, subtitles this lead article, “Don’t make work – make it work!” She outlines five guidelines for “monitoring reports that work” including preparing an operational definition and presenting evidence. The How and Why of different sources of monitoring are addressed by Richard Stringham, Senior Associate of the Governance Coach. An example of a monitoring report rounds out an article by Jannice Moore on monitoring the largest executive limitation. The newsletter also offers information on upcoming open workshops for those exploring Policy Governance for the first time, as well as advanced workshops in board administration and future-focused agendas.
The standard definition of Ends in Policy Governance is “what benefits, for which people, at what cost?” Jannice Moore addresses the question: “what’s it worth to you?” at lower levels of Ends statements and how to allocate resources to certain benefits. In the first of a series of upcoming newsletters, Governance Coach Associates Rose Mercier and Richard Stringham each contribute articles to the theme. Rose humorously takes us through the discovery that having a “voice” on the board is not an End, and Richard compares the strategic plan to Ends – are they a journey or a destination? In a bonus article entitled “The System is Working – Now What?” Richard Stringham invites a board to become Ends-obsessed: to free itself to undertake what John Carver refers to as “highly informed dreaming”.
Experience-Based Practical Tips. Jannice Moore addresses long-term use of the Policy Governance model and avoiding the pitfalls caused by lack of understanding of the theory behind the principles and a lack of practical strategies to apply them. This lead article outlines these pitfalls including being fixated on monitoring, too much policy review and board decisions that are divorced from policies, and how to avoid them. Governance Coach Associate Andrew Bergen explores the line between board and CEO responsibilities in his article “Whose Job is it Anyway?” Also includes information on up-coming workshops and practical resources for the further understanding of Policy Governance.®
We introduce our newest REALBoard Advantage Tool Kit, Future-Focused Agendas
Jannice Moore’s lead article, “Past or Future: Where is Your Board’s Focus?” asks the question, “How much board agenda time do you spend on the past that should be focused on the future of your organization? Policy Governance calls you to deliberately schedule each agenda to include as its centerpiece something that causes you to focus on Ends. Senior Associate, Richard Stringham writes about balancing stretch and reason where policies are concerned, and a Policy Governance Primer and a how-to on making time for future-focus thinking are included. A list of resources and our Policy Governance workshops information round out the issue.
Jannice Moore explores Policy Governance as a disciplined system for governing boards to explore new possibilities for the future in the lead article of this issue. She quotes Gerald Anderson, former chair of a board: “Policy Governance gave us a structure and form that kept us focused on our responsibilities to our owners and our Ends”. A second article, discusses how Policy Governance addresses the management of finances.
In her lead article, Jannice Moore addresses strategic thinking and strategic planning in relation to Policy Governance® , and the characteristics of each. Where does your board fit? In a second article, Richard Stringham, Senior Associate with The Governance Coach ™ discusses his car. Is he an “owner” or a “stakeholder”? A light-hearted look at distinguishing the difference. Associate Rose Mercier discusses organizational change for membership organizations in a third article, and how to communicate effectively where multiple levels exist in an umbrella federation.
In her lead article, Jannice Moore discusses the three elements necessary for board culture to be focused on the future using a “colourful” agenda planning cycle. What colour is your board’s agenda? In a second article, Governance Coach Associate Al Berrie urges board chairs to remain forward thinking and ensure that a board’s action is consistent with its policies. This issue also contains information on upcoming Policy Governance® seminars and a list of new Policy Governance® resources.
In the lead article, Jannice Moore addresses the question of board member recruitment. What does the job of governance entail and how do boards attract the Best-Fit™ Board members? She discusses establishing clarity about the board’s purpose and what characteristics are common in effective board members. In a second article, Richard Stringham explores the value of diversity in board thinking and how to encourage wider board participation through proper facilitation. This issue also contains information on upcoming Policy Governance® seminars and a brief Policy Governance® primer.