Proof, clarity and compliance

I recall apologising to a senior politician once for troubling him to pose for a photo with my office bearers. His reply was disarmingly direct – “If there’s no photo, it didn’t happen”. A similar message was offered in the newly published Joint Statement on board minutes from the AICD and the Governance Institute. My… Continue reading Proof, clarity and compliance

“All models are wrong, but some are useful”

Originally a reflection on statistical modeling, this quote from British statistician George E. P. Box can also be helpfully applied to most business and planning models commonly used in strategic planning and governance deliberations. The quote is similar to American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski’s remarks that “the map is not the territory” and that… Continue reading “All models are wrong, but some are useful”

Purpose + Principles = Policies and Procedures

Not-for-profit directors generally understand that part of their governance role involves setting policies to guide the actions of office bearers, staff, and volunteers. However, not all of them have understood the importance of capturing the principles underpinning the policy in question. For the purposes of this article, the policies we are considering are ‘governance policies‘… Continue reading Purpose + Principles = Policies and Procedures

Habit Chicken or Belief Egg? Which comes first in PD?

Anyone who has stood in front of a class or training room and sought to help ‘students’ to develop their knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes, recognises that ‘deep’ learning only happens when the student makes sense of the new content or skill by extension of their existing framework of knowledge and skill. We all need ‘hooks’… Continue reading Habit Chicken or Belief Egg? Which comes first in PD?

Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

With office bearers changing quite regularly in most not-for-profit organisations, there is a risk of corporate memory loss – and metaphorically suffering ‘neurodegenerative issues’. Consequently, the maintenance and use of key governance document registers is an essential measure. To that end, it is helpful to review which documents qualify for inclusion in these registers. The… Continue reading Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

What? So What? and Now What? – your reflective practice guide

One of the defining characteristics of a profession is that its members commit to reflect on their practice in order to improve it for the benefit of those they serve. This applies to policy and governance professionals as much as to members of any other profession. Various models and frameworks have been developed for different… Continue reading What? So What? and Now What? – your reflective practice guide

Policy Advocacy – tools worth having

Further to the valuable resources offered by the Alliance for Useful Evidence (which have been mentioned in this blog previously), another UK think tank offers a range of tools that every policy worker should have in their kit. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has produced a collection of policy analysis and advocacy resources that can… Continue reading Policy Advocacy – tools worth having

FREE Strategy and Policy Toolkit

Most not-for-profit organisations are small-to-medium in size, and have limited resources to do the strategy and policy work they would like to. So simple and effective tools for the job are much sought after, and can be immensely valuable to the staff and volunteers who need them. The DIY toolkit published by Nesta is therefore… Continue reading FREE Strategy and Policy Toolkit