(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
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
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”
“… terms like ‘reasonable’ and ‘rational’, which are often used when describing the desirable qualities of board deliberation, are about the capacity of the directors (and management) to use sophisticated data and analysis i.e. ‘ratio’-nal thinking.”
“… the sooner the meeting has a proposal framed, the sooner debate can focus on what the meeting agrees to”
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