Ways of knowing and being in organisational culture

Organisation culture – Part 5 When we hold directors and managers accountable for a problem with organisational culture, we affirm that culture is a product of choices made and actions taken (or neglected). Consequently, it cannot be fixed and immutable. While it may be consistent (and sometimes even seems ossified), it is amenable to reshaping.… Continue reading Ways of knowing and being in organisational culture

Organisational ‘personality’

Organisational Culture – Part 4 The personality metaphor ‘Organisational personhood’ refers to the legal concept that an incorporated entity, like a non-profit or for-purpose organisation, as distinct from its associated people (i.e. directors, managers, or employees), has some of the legal rights and responsibilities enjoyed by ‘natural persons’. (A ‘natural person’ in this sense is a human… Continue reading Organisational ‘personality’

The choice between insightful and inciteful words

Civil society and civility Non-profit organisations often characterise themselves as being part of ‘civil society’. Civil society has been defined and redefined over many years, but it broadly refers to “a wide array of organisations: community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organisations, faith-based organisations, professional associations and foundations” (World Bank). As… Continue reading The choice between insightful and inciteful words

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

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

Between Altruism and Greed

‘Self interest’ and ‘vested interests’ are central to governance of conflict of interest within non-profit organisations. Boards elected by members of a profession or industry rightly see their role as addressing member needs – often with a focus on members’ economic success or survival. While the conflict (or perception of conflict) between a director’s personal… Continue reading Between Altruism and Greed

It’s not ‘catastrophising’ when the catastrophe is real !

So often, risk is narrowly defined as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives” (ISO 3100 2009), and ‘risk management’ as a collection of steps by which to reduce the likelihood and/or impact of a hypothetical future adverse event.  Risk avoidance and risk transfer measures, such as insurance, are instituted before the event as preventive or… Continue reading It’s not ‘catastrophising’ when the catastrophe is real !