NFP Volunteering – Part 1 Identifying future leaders and supporting their development is a key dimension of ‘resource management’ in the ‘For-Purpose’ sector. ‘Talent Pipelines’ and ‘Pathways to Directorship’ are often referred to in the succession planning literature, alongside the expectation that a board skills matrix (or director competency framework) should be used to select… Continue reading NFP Success(ion) Planning: Pipelines and Pathways
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
(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
‘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
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
(Part 2 – ‘Duty of Care, Skill and Diligence’ series) The term ‘due diligence’ is most often used to describe a detailed appraisal of a business undertaken by a prospective buyer, with a key focus on confirming its assets and liabilities and evaluating its commercial prospects. In the context of non-profit directorial duties however, its… Continue reading Giving ‘diligence’ its due
“It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.” (Seneca) Good governance is often described as being a balance between efficiency and effectiveness in setting strategy, overseeing operations, and monitoring performance and conformance. As meetings are the chief means by which the board formally addresses its duties,… Continue reading Efficient ‘time governance’
So often, risk is narrowly defined as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives” (ISO 3100 2009), and ‘risk management’ as a collection of steps by which to reduce the likelihood and/or impact of a hypothetical future adverse event. Risk avoidance and risk transfer measures, such as insurance, are instituted before the event as preventive or… Continue reading It’s not ‘catastrophising’ when the catastrophe is real !
The not-for-profit sector is facing the same existential questions as the corporate sector at present due to COVID-19. Association members are wondering whether they will have jobs or businesses that they can keep viable, and so renewal of membership subscriptions is not necessarily a priority right now, while attendance at conferences and educational events is… Continue reading The solvency question: Should we continue to exist?
The comparative schematics below illustrate the ways in which two related governance tools operate to achieve efficient and effective outcomes for organisations governed by a board of directors. Policies and procedures are usually created to set controls over an organisation’s activities and behaviour. While they are usually two parts of the one process, there are… Continue reading Governance guardrails and guiderails