Continuous Reflective Governance

I’d like to amplify some points made in my previous post, which argued that directors need to continuously monitor their internal and external circumstances.

The header image above illustrates the point that reflective governance requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to determine new and emerging priorities (the EDM Governance Model), and that the data being analysed includes information about the outcomes and impact of the actions you determined earlier. It also includes updated information about the context in which your work is now being undertaken.

The following more detailed version of this chart drills down into the external and internal dimensions in which that data and analysis arise. In this chart I selected one analysis tool for each dimension: the SOSTAC model for internal monitoring, and the STEEPLE model for external environmental scanning. You can choose whatever models you like from the many that have been developed over the years. This chart simply illustrates how the selected models define a collection of domains or categories in which you intend to collect and analyse data relevant to your strategy and operations.

While my previous post highlighted the need to look at both internal and external environments, this version also recognises that the three main aspects of governance relate to past (monitoring), present (evaluating) and future (directing) time perspectives.

The DIKW knowledge management model has also been included to make the points that directors need to apply sound evidence standards, and to ‘sort the signal from the noise’. Raw data without robust analysis may lead to poor decisions based on ‘false signals’. Data and information from both external and internal environments need to be distilled through your monitoring activities, to inform your analyses and decisions.

Future posts will look at some possible free or low-cost data sources for internal and external monitoring. These posts will seek to illustrate some ways in which non-profit boards can source reliable and relevant information to inform their decision-making and direction setting.

See also:

Governance lines of sight

Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership

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