Policy Precedents: Benefits and Risks

Precedent Benefits The blank policy page can be as intimidating as any blank ‘canvas’ facing an author. Organisational policy writers working within an existing ‘policy culture’ will doubtless have templates, and perhaps even a ‘policy on policy-making’ (see links below) to guide them.  Many smaller non-profit organisations, however, may not have reached that level of… Continue reading Policy Precedents: Benefits and Risks

An Organisational Policy ‘Taxonomy’

In Carrots, Sticks and Sermons – sorting policy types, I outlined a broad range of policy categories. This provided a very simplified view of the various types of policy and policy instruments available for use in divers policy settings. Excellent analyses of public policy typologies and taxonomies have been catalogued for many years (e.g. in… Continue reading An Organisational Policy ‘Taxonomy’

Strategic Realism

There are many small non-profits which have no staff, or only part-time office support. These associations, clubs, and charities are almost entirely dependent on their volunteer workforce, both for governance, and for program and service delivery. Often, the same people who already give hours each week to their involvement with the organisation, not only approve… Continue reading Strategic Realism

NFP strategic opportunities: Collective bargaining exemptions

Under Australian consumer law, nonprofits were prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining on behalf of members unless they were granted an authorisation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This legislation aimed to prevent businesses of any size working together to achieve a common commercial goal which was seen as ‘anti-competitive‘, ‘collusive‘, or acting… Continue reading NFP strategic opportunities: Collective bargaining exemptions

Strategic Archery

Just as “All models are wrong, but some are useful” (George Box), I’d like to suggest that “All metaphors are oversimplified, but some are quite helpful“. Archery, darts, and other target metaphors are frequently used in strategy discussions e.g. “Hitting our target”“Missed our target”“Ready, Fire, Aim” (criticism) Strategic targets are set as part of the… Continue reading Strategic Archery

Beyond the ‘dashboard’ – understanding policy failure

Despite the emphasis on the evaluative role of non-profit board directors in most governance models (e.g. the EDM model), the use of models for evaluation of governance policies has been generally confined to use of output or outcome measures which can be monitored on a strategy ‘dashboard’. The focus on ‘end product’ and ‘impact’ is… Continue reading Beyond the ‘dashboard’ – understanding policy failure

COVID Public Policy Ratings – Australia 2020

The Evidence-Based Policy Analysis report for 2020 has recently been published by Per Capita, with a special emphasis on public policy responses arising from the COVID-19 ’emergency’. The authors conferred with Prof Kenneth Wiltshire AO, whose public policy business case criteria had been used in previous versions of this analysis, and he agreed to make… Continue reading COVID Public Policy Ratings – Australia 2020

The case of the troublesome homograph

Confusion sometimes arises in our non-profit governance and management work where a word we use is assumed to have a particular meaning, but actually another meaning is intended. I think a case can be made for that to be the case with regard to the terms “business use case” and “business case“. Here the word… Continue reading The case of the troublesome homograph

Agile or Adaptive Governance required?

As non-profit organisations have increasingly moved to use adaptive strategy to address the rapidly changing and complex environment in which they serve their purposes, the question of how these strategic style shifts fit in the governance model arises. A ‘system of controls’ Much governance literature has promoted the view that governance is about establishing and… Continue reading Agile or Adaptive Governance required?

20:20 Hindsight

Hindsight bias ‘Hindsight bias’ has been defined as believing that the onset of a past event was predictable and completely obvious, when actually, the outcome could not have been predicted. Politicians, media (and social media) commentators, and sometimes Counsel Assisting commissions of inquiry, all demonstrate a tendency to this form of cognitive distortion. Directors and… Continue reading 20:20 Hindsight