NFP strategic opportunities: Collective bargaining exemptions

Under Australian consumer law, nonprofits were prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining on behalf of members unless they were granted an authorisation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This legislation aimed to prevent businesses of any size working together to achieve a common commercial goal which was seen as ‘anti-competitive‘, ‘collusive‘, or acting… Continue reading NFP strategic opportunities: Collective bargaining exemptions

Strategic Archery

Just as “All models are wrong, but some are useful” (George Box), I’d like to suggest that “All metaphors are oversimplified, but some are quite helpful“. Archery, darts, and other target metaphors are frequently used in strategy discussions e.g. “Hitting our target”“Missed our target”“Ready, Fire, Aim” (criticism) Strategic targets are set as part of the… Continue reading Strategic Archery

Beyond the ‘dashboard’ – understanding policy failure

Despite the emphasis on the evaluative role of non-profit board directors in most governance models (e.g. the EDM model), the use of models for evaluation of governance policies has been generally confined to use of output or outcome measures which can be monitored on a strategy ‘dashboard’. The focus on ‘end product’ and ‘impact’ is… Continue reading Beyond the ‘dashboard’ – understanding policy failure

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

Agile or Adaptive Governance required?

As non-profit organisations have increasingly moved to use adaptive strategy to address the rapidly changing and complex environment in which they serve their purposes, the question of how these strategic style shifts fit in the governance model arises. A ‘system of controls’ Much governance literature has promoted the view that governance is about establishing and… Continue reading Agile or Adaptive Governance required?

20:20 Hindsight

Hindsight bias ‘Hindsight bias’ has been defined as believing that the onset of a past event was predictable and completely obvious, when actually, the outcome could not have been predicted. Politicians, media (and social media) commentators, and sometimes Counsel Assisting commissions of inquiry, all demonstrate a tendency to this form of cognitive distortion. Directors and… Continue reading 20:20 Hindsight

Federated Risk

A federation is ‘a formal, enduring, coalition of largely independent non-profit groups established to realise such advantages as coordination of activities, development of collective strategies, and sharing of facilities or resources. A federation is itself an organisation with a clear membership, leadership structure and unique name.’ (Smith, A Dictionary of Non-profit Terms and Concepts, 2006)… Continue reading Federated Risk

Sharing Risk while avoiding a Blame Game

Responsibility and Accountability in Risk Governance My previous post highlighted governance issues associated with multiple parties sharing certain risk management responsibilities around the disembarkation of passengers from the Ruby Princess, at a time when COVID-19 infections were on the rise. The importance of establishing shared understandings about the risk perspectives of affected and involved parties… Continue reading Sharing Risk while avoiding a Blame Game

The Incident ‘Post Mortem’: Facts, Causes and Factors

Most non-profit boards rightly focus their risk governance on identifying and assessing risks before developing a set of escalating controls to prevent an adverse event. They then consider how their organisation should respond should the hazardous event actually occur, and how those measures can best mitigate the damage that arises. Some also consider their incident… Continue reading The Incident ‘Post Mortem’: Facts, Causes and Factors

Risk borders, boundaries, and bridges

Learning from Others’ Mistakes – Part 9: Ruby Princess The Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess (320 pp) offers numerous governance lessons for non-profit organisations as well as its target audiences in government. Notable among these is the heightened risk faced when multiple agencies and governance systems are involved. With… Continue reading Risk borders, boundaries, and bridges