Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

Delegation ‘Power‘ The power to delegate some part of the board’s authority or functions (other than ‘the power to delegate‘*), is one of the legitimate powers enshrined in most non-profit constitutions. Not being able to delegate ‘the power to delegate’ makes sense, as ultimate responsibility must remain with the governing board. In small to medium-sized… Continue reading Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

NFP Success(ion) Planning: Pipelines and Pathways

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

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

Sledgehammer or scalpel? Governance capability development

(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

Complexity – the view from the Chair

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

Giving ‘diligence’ its due

(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

Efficient ‘time governance’

“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’

It’s not ‘catastrophising’ when the catastrophe is real !

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 solvency question: Should we continue to exist?

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?

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