Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

Evaluation – Part 2 Evaluation is one of the central elements in the EDM (Evaluate, Direct, Monitor) Governance Model, but its role in governance (and management) is often obscured by the use of other terms, like ‘problem-solving’ or ‘decision-making’. The importance of evaluation in non-profit governance is highlighted in the extracts from AICD’s NFP Governance… Continue reading Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

Evaluation – Part 1 We use the term ‘on balance’ as a shorthand way of saying that we have come to a decision or choice after considering the power, influence, or ‘weight’ of both sides of a question or issue. This invokes metaphoric reference to a set of balance scales – as in the ‘scales of justice’ (see header image). Evaluation skills, sometimes… Continue reading The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

Delegation ‘Power‘ The power to delegate some part of the board’s authority or functions (other than ‘the power to delegate‘*), is one of the legitimate powers enshrined in most non-profit constitutions. Not being able to delegate ‘the power to delegate’ makes sense, as ultimate responsibility must remain with the governing board. In small to medium-sized… Continue reading Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

NFP Volunteer Engagement & Coordination

NFP Volunteering – Part 2 Part 1 in this series of posts on NFP Volunteering argued that succession planning in most non-profit organisations cannot be separated from volunteer training, development, and support. Given non-profits’ heavy reliance on their volunteer workforce it is important that they take care to coordinate their volunteer efforts and optimise their… Continue reading NFP Volunteer Engagement & Coordination

Change resistance and response

Context In my previous post, issues encountered by various of my non-profit clients were identified as catalysts for application of an empathy mapping response, in order to gain greater insight into the underlying causes of resistance to change initiatives. The issues and circumstances were summarised as follows: – a CEO dealing with resistance to cultural… Continue reading Change resistance and response

Empathy and Mindfulness in leadership (and life)

Empathy is one of the featured qualities of effective leaders in much of the leadership literature. Henry Mintzberg lists the collaborative mindset, requiring empathy and insight into a network of relationships, as one of The Five Minds of a Manager. Managing self: the reflective mind-set Managing organizations: the analytic mind-set Managing context: the worldly mind-set… Continue reading Empathy and Mindfulness in leadership (and life)

Efficient ‘time governance’

“It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.”  (Seneca) Good governance is often described as being a balance between efficiency and effectiveness in setting strategy, overseeing operations, and monitoring performance and conformance. As meetings are the chief means by which the board formally addresses its duties,… Continue reading Efficient ‘time governance’

The shared purpose mirror: Ideal decision and execution triangles

It has been widely recognised that good governance decisions involve identification of the ‘sweet spot’ where cost, risk, and benefit trade-offs can be achieved. A ‘mirror’ set of balancing factors is involved however when management is charged with implementation of those decisions – as illustrated above. Best practice strategy execution requires management to identify the… Continue reading The shared purpose mirror: Ideal decision and execution triangles

Proof, clarity and compliance

I recall apologising to a senior politician once for troubling him to pose for a photo with my office bearers. His reply was disarmingly direct – “If there’s no photo, it didn’t happen”. A similar message was offered in the newly published Joint Statement on board minutes from the AICD and the Governance Institute. My… Continue reading Proof, clarity and compliance

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