Curious about Curiosity I have been wondering about curiosity lately. This strangely circular activity feels a little like the sensation you experience when you step between opposing mirrors and see an infinite array of reflections bouncing off each other. I have used the mirror metaphor when advocating reflective governance practices before, acknowledging that it has… Continue reading The curious director
The risk with some board effectiveness evaluations is that they can be mere box-ticking exercises. Everyone is time-poor, and reflecting on your structures, roles, processes, and performance may feel like navel-gazing to some. If your annual board evaluation simply puts some ratings against a checklist of questions, it won’t lead to identifying opportunities for improvement.… Continue reading Board evaluation done? Now what?
Asking the right questions in the right way One of the shorthand ways of explaining what governance focuses on is to say it’s about ‘Doing the right things in the right way’. This post offers a reflection on one essential aspect of governance, that is used by every director at every meeting. Skillful questioning is… Continue reading A question of skillful questioning
Leaders who listen – Part 2 One of my most profound professional development experiences involved being introduced to active listening techniques many years ago. As so many had discovered before me, and since, ed psych courses during teacher training offered meagre preparation for encounters with the vast range of mental and emotional states adolescent students… Continue reading A spectrum of listening intentions
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
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
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
(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