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

Moral Governance – Part 2

Moral Climate and Culture When the moral climate in an organisation is the cause of moral distress, it could seem like ‘victim blaming’ to suggest that a ‘resilience bundle’ should be provided to employees or volunteers to help them to cope.  As with any risk analysis, unless you identify and address the root cause of… Continue reading Moral Governance – Part 2

Moral Governance – Part 1

Moral decision-making Governance can be recognised as a moral undertaking, especially when characterised as ‘doing the right things in the right way’.  Ethical (or moral) decision-making involves use of a ‘moral compass’, guided by agreed values, to make decisions which are both legally and ethically sound.  The quadrant chart below summarises the combinations facing non-profit… Continue reading Moral Governance – Part 1

From Proposal to Decision – your meeting ‘machinery’

A focus on meeting ‘machinery’ could imply ‘a victory of process over substance‘ in board decision-making. My experience in a range of government, corporate, and non-profit settings however, tells me that getting your decision-making systems into good working order is a key success factor in supporting substantive board decisions. Something as simple as structuring your… Continue reading From Proposal to Decision – your meeting ‘machinery’

Strategic Archery

Just as “All models are wrong, but some are useful” (George Box), I’d like to suggest that “All metaphors are oversimplified, but some are quite helpful“. Archery, darts, and other target metaphors are frequently used in strategy discussions e.g. “Hitting our target”“Missed our target”“Ready, Fire, Aim” (criticism) Strategic targets are set as part of the… Continue reading Strategic Archery

The case of the troublesome homograph

Confusion sometimes arises in our non-profit governance and management work where a word we use is assumed to have a particular meaning, but actually another meaning is intended. I think a case can be made for that to be the case with regard to the terms “business use case” and “business case“. Here the word… Continue reading The case of the troublesome homograph

Adaptive Strategy

Continuous adjustment of strategy in the light of changing organisational context has been a recurring theme in my last three posts. This post offers something of a footnote to the earlier articles. The header image above provides a slightly different perspective on the ever-shifting point of decision. The time dimension is emphasised here in a… Continue reading Adaptive Strategy

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

Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Just as strategic mindsets can be framed in polarised pairs like Growth Vs Fixed, or Solution Vs Problem Oriented, risk management mindsets can also be described as Blocking or Enabling (see header illustration). While reducing any complex matter to a simple binary choice can lead to distorted thinking, when considering your risk mindset it is… Continue reading Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership

I’ve long valued Bryan Whitefield’s insights and guidance on risk and adaptive leadership matters, and his recent article (highly recommended) on diagnosis and action at the Self and System levels, reminded me of another broad parallel I had noticed between health service and leadership concepts and processes. The ‘standard’ treatment process used by health practitioners… Continue reading Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership