Purpose + Principles = Policies and Procedures

Not-for-profit directors generally understand that part of their governance role involves setting policies to guide the actions of office bearers, staff, and volunteers. However, not all of them have understood the importance of capturing the principles underpinning the policy in question. For the purposes of this article, the policies we are considering are ‘governance policies‘… Continue reading Purpose + Principles = Policies and Procedures

Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

With office bearers changing quite regularly in most not-for-profit organisations, there is a risk of corporate memory loss – and metaphorically suffering ‘neurodegenerative issues’. Consequently, the maintenance and use of key governance document registers is an essential measure. To that end, it is helpful to review which documents qualify for inclusion in these registers. The… Continue reading Avoiding ‘organisational Alzheimer’s’

What? So What? and Now What? – your reflective practice guide

One of the defining characteristics of a profession is that its members commit to reflect on their practice in order to improve it for the benefit of those they serve. This applies to policy and governance professionals as much as to members of any other profession. Various models and frameworks have been developed for different… Continue reading What? So What? and Now What? – your reflective practice guide

Sustainability finally going mainstream

The landmark speech on Climate Change and the Economy (12 March) by Guy Debelle, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank, and the APRA climate change survey (20 March) of 38 large entities, across all regulated industries, signal mainstream acceptance of the reality that climate change obliges all of us to take preventive measures and prepare… Continue reading Sustainability finally going mainstream

Magnetic forces in board decision making

The recent Hayne Royal Commission generated much commentary on the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions, and their preoccupation with profits over compliance (‘performance’ over ‘conformance’) has been a dominant theme. Risk managers in many of these large organisations have been treated as blockers of growth, and consulted late (if at all) when new… Continue reading Magnetic forces in board decision making

The Strategic Cube: improving strategy execution

Non-profit boards sometimes have difficulty seeing their strategic plan reflected in their ongoing regular meeting agendas and interactions with management. Organisations that have integrated their strategic thinking into their structures and operations rarely suffer the problem of forgetting what their strategic goals are. The ‘strategic cube’ illustrated above is one way of conceptualising the influence… Continue reading The Strategic Cube: improving strategy execution

Behind the governance ‘dashboard’

The ‘dashboard‘ metaphor is often used to discuss the role of a board in monitoring key metrics in the performance and conformance of both corporate and not-for-profit organisations. However, this metaphor is only one part of a larger ‘vehicle‘ metaphor, which sees the board ‘steering‘ the organisation towards a destination set via its core purpose… Continue reading Behind the governance ‘dashboard’

IT Governance lessons

As noted in some earlier posts, learning from others’ mistakes is the least painful way of avoiding trouble, provided we can apply those lessons meaningfully in our own circumstances. This latest case study arises from problems encountered in yet another large scale publicly funded IT project.  It offers numerous governance insights, which in my view,… Continue reading IT Governance lessons

Nudging your board towards better decision-making

If you would like to help your directors to be more effective decision-makers, you will find the Behavioural Government report from the Behavioural Insights Team of interest. While it is sub-titled “Using behavioural science to improve how governments make decisions” it could just as readily have been styled “Using behavioural science to improve board governance“,… Continue reading Nudging your board towards better decision-making

Meaningful connections

As we head into the festive season, we re-prioritise family and friends and look to spend ‘quality time’ with them.  It’s also a time when we take stock, and resolve to improve various aspects of our lives – not least our working lives. In discussing the importance of effective workplace communications with one of my… Continue reading Meaningful connections