Differentiation and Integration in your Deliberations

Differentiation (analysis) and integration (synthesis) are the two main thinking modes we use in all situations where deliberation is involved. Non-profit leaders who wish to improve their deliberative processes may benefit from reflection on how effectively they are using both modes. Whether we are differentiating facts from fiction, signal from noise, salient from irrelevant, logical… Continue reading Differentiation and Integration in your Deliberations

“It was RESOLVED …”

Why are board decisions often called resolutions? There are three main senses in which a matter being considered by a board is resolved. These relate to focus, agreement and intention. Focus We adjust the focus of an optical instrument, camera lens, microscope, spectacles, or a telescope to render visible objects and spaces distinguishable. The power… Continue reading “It was RESOLVED …”

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

Foolosophy in the boardroom

Archetype lenses In systems thinking, we often use mental models, of which the archetype is one variety, to provide us with a lens that helps to simplify the ‘story’ of what’s happening in our work and social environment. Archetypes come in many shapes and sizes. At the macro level, system archetypes decompose the elements and… Continue reading Foolosophy in the boardroom

‘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’

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’

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

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

Filters and Factors in Deliberation

Deliberation – where strategic and personal perspectives meet. We directors and executives all like to think that we are rational beings, engaged in objective decision making processes to achieve governance and management goals. All of our best practice models describe linear and logical steps we take (or aspire to) to optimise performance and meet our… Continue reading Filters and Factors in Deliberation