Policy Models and Accounts

Non-profit advocacy work tends to focus mainly on government relations, especially regulatory measures (‘sticks’) affecting the non-profit’s stakeholders, but also policy measures which might fit the tags ‘carrot’ or ‘sermon’. (See also my earlier article ‘Carrots, Sticks and Sermons: sorting policy types’.) I often find that NFP directors and staff are unaware of the processes… Continue reading Policy Models and Accounts

Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Just as strategic mindsets can be framed in polarised pairs like Growth Vs Fixed, or Solution Vs Problem Oriented, risk management mindsets can also be described as Blocking or Enabling (see header illustration). While reducing any complex matter to a simple binary choice can lead to distorted thinking, when considering your risk mindset it is… Continue reading Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership

I’ve long valued Bryan Whitefield’s insights and guidance on risk and adaptive leadership matters, and his recent article (highly recommended) on diagnosis and action at the Self and System levels, reminded me of another broad parallel I had noticed between health service and leadership concepts and processes. The ‘standard’ treatment process used by health practitioners… Continue reading Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership

Your ‘ruling’ body

The history of leadership continues to be reflected in our language today. The board of directors is still sometimes referred to as the ‘ruling body’. Historically, the one who set the rules brought order to their community. Sometimes that order was imposed by force, and at other times by democratic processes, but either way, the… Continue reading Your ‘ruling’ body

Sledgehammer or scalpel? Governance capability development

(Part 3 – ‘Duty of Care, Skill and Diligence’ series) “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” Abraham Maslow While it may seem obvious that non-profit directors require a set of skills to perform their duties, elections or appointments… Continue reading Sledgehammer or scalpel? Governance capability development

Between Altruism and Greed

‘Self interest’ and ‘vested interests’ are central to governance of conflict of interest within non-profit organisations. Boards elected by members of a profession or industry rightly see their role as addressing member needs – often with a focus on members’ economic success or survival. While the conflict (or perception of conflict) between a director’s personal… Continue reading Between Altruism and Greed

Filters and Factors in Deliberation

Deliberation – where strategic and personal perspectives meet. We directors and executives all like to think that we are rational beings, engaged in objective decision making processes to achieve governance and management goals. All of our best practice models describe linear and logical steps we take (or aspire to) to optimise performance and meet our… Continue reading Filters and Factors in Deliberation

Change resistance and response

Context In my previous post, issues encountered by various of my non-profit clients were identified as catalysts for application of an empathy mapping response, in order to gain greater insight into the underlying causes of resistance to change initiatives. The issues and circumstances were summarised as follows: – a CEO dealing with resistance to cultural… Continue reading Change resistance and response

Empathy and Mindfulness in leadership (and life)

Empathy is one of the featured qualities of effective leaders in much of the leadership literature. Henry Mintzberg lists the collaborative mindset, requiring empathy and insight into a network of relationships, as one of The Five Minds of a Manager. Managing self: the reflective mind-set Managing organizations: the analytic mind-set Managing context: the worldly mind-set… Continue reading Empathy and Mindfulness in leadership (and life)

Complexity – the view from the Chair

Those of us who have had the privilege of chairing meetings know that the view from that seat is entirely different from that of participants. “Like playing multi-dimensional chess” is the analogy sometimes used, as it evokes the multi-focal nature of effective chairing practice. The chair’s role inviting participants to speak and vote on motions… Continue reading Complexity – the view from the Chair