Double-edged swords and paradoxical choices

‘Either/or’ choices Most board deliberations and policy analyses are conducted using an ‘either/or’ approach. A set of (usually three or four) options is devised, from which one is to be favoured over others. You can have the answer in one of the red, blue, or green boxes – but you can’t have two or more… Continue reading Double-edged swords and paradoxical choices

Clarifying expectations – when specifics matter

Misaligned expectations are often an underlying cause of error, tension, and conflict. This is true for nonprofit organisations as much as for any business entity (and family and friendship groups for that matter). When we expect one thing, and something else happens instead, many of us experience emotional responses ranging from delight and surprise, through… Continue reading Clarifying expectations – when specifics matter

Validity and Validation in your non-profit

We all seek validation Most of us are very familiar with the kind of validation offered when others like or share our social media posts. This emotional validation involves processes of uncovering, accepting, approving, and hopefully understanding, the emotional experience of another person. Organisations also seek a similar form of validation when they monitor engagement… Continue reading Validity and Validation in your non-profit

Measuring NFP Measures

Arguably, next to your non-profit board’s responsibility for setting directions for your organisation, the monitoring and evaluation of performance and conformance are the two next most significant board roles and activities. Central to these monitoring and evaluation activities is the use of metrics and indicators (see Locus Focus Vs Hocus Pocus for distinctions between these… Continue reading Measuring NFP Measures

Reflective Governance: The MELD Model

The MELD Model is a blend, or ‘melding’, of the COBIT5 EDM Governance Model and the Triple-Loop Learning Model, which has its origins in the work of Profs Chris Argyris and Donald Schon. MELD stands for Measure, Evaluate, Learn, and Direct. See the header image above. This contrivance is simply an elaboration of the Evaluate,… Continue reading Reflective Governance: The MELD Model

Locus Focus Vs ‘Hocus Pocus’

Measuring success is part of the governance and management responsibility of all non-profit organisations. This responsibility augments obligations related to compliance with legal, regulatory and ethical requirements ‘Hocus Pocus’ According to vocabulary.com, ‘hocus-pocus‘ is an illusion or a meaningless distraction that tricks you in some way. Originally derived from invocations used in magic shows (like… Continue reading Locus Focus Vs ‘Hocus Pocus’

Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

Evaluation – Part 2 Evaluation is one of the central elements in the EDM (Evaluate, Direct, Monitor) Governance Model, but its role in governance (and management) is often obscured by the use of other terms, like ‘problem-solving’ or ‘decision-making’. The importance of evaluation in non-profit governance is highlighted in the extracts from AICD’s NFP Governance… Continue reading Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

Problems ‘for’ and ‘of’ governance

Problem classification Every field of human endeavour has problems, and the myriad problem solving approaches that have been identified through history reflect that diversity. Even within a field, such as non-profit governance, the variety of problems that come before a board of directors can be extremely diverse. Strategic, risk, financial, structural, logistical, human, technological, safety,… Continue reading Problems ‘for’ and ‘of’ governance

Continuous Reflective Governance

I’d like to amplify some points made in my previous post, which argued that directors need to continuously monitor their internal and external circumstances. The header image above illustrates the point that reflective governance requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to determine new and emerging priorities (the EDM Governance Model), and that the data being analysed… Continue reading Continuous Reflective Governance

Looking outward and inward

Non-profit directors are not usually spies. They do need to gather and analyse ‘intelligence’ however, to inform their governance activities. This includes monitoring the external environment and internal systems, processes and performance. Business intelligence software and dashboards are available commercially. While some non-profits will be able to afford these, most smaller entities will seek free… Continue reading Looking outward and inward