Coming to our (shared) ‘sensus’

When making decisions or negotiating agreements, it is always helpful to use shared meanings for the terms and concepts we employ. In the interests of promoting that outcome, this etymological interlude* is offered (with considerable assistance from Etymonline). Gifted with sense We take for granted that we are all sensate beings, capable of sensation. Etymonline… Continue reading Coming to our (shared) ‘sensus’

Making sense

Decision-making and sense-making While much of our focus is on problem-solving and decision-making when we reflect on non-profit governance, without effective sense-making, boards will be likely to make poor decisions. Good decision-making could therefore be considered somewhat dependent on good sense-making. Individual or personal sensemaking When we engage in sense-making we are “structuring the unknown”… Continue reading Making sense

The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

This particular excursion down the rabbit hole started aimlessly enough, browsing a table of new releases on the way out the door of the (increasingly rare) bookstore. Good arguments Bo Seo’s new book Good Arguments: What the art of debating can teach us about listening better and disagreeing well caught my eye. Perhaps my high… Continue reading The argument ‘rabbit hole’: debate, discussion, or dialogue

‘Thinking’ Hats; for wisdom, penitence, or humiliation

Note: I suggested that I might write a blog post on the history of thinking hats in my earlier post – Thinking about ‘Thinking Hats’ – so here it is. In a departure from my usual focus on non-profit governance and management, this material is offered for general interest, although some readers may find aspects… Continue reading ‘Thinking’ Hats; for wisdom, penitence, or humiliation

Thinking about ‘Thinking Hats’

Thank you to the reader who responded to my post on ‘The 7th and 8th Thinking Hats‘ by asking: “Is there a 9th Thinking Hat? If so can you please tell me?” While I was originally going to reply to this query in the comments below the article, as I started drafting that reply, it… Continue reading Thinking about ‘Thinking Hats’

The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

Evaluation – Part 1 We use the term ‘on balance’ as a shorthand way of saying that we have come to a decision or choice after considering the power, influence, or ‘weight’ of both sides of a question or issue. This invokes metaphoric reference to a set of balance scales – as in the ‘scales of justice’ (see header image). Evaluation skills, sometimes… Continue reading The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

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’