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

Strategic Realism

There are many small non-profits which have no staff, or only part-time office support. These associations, clubs, and charities are almost entirely dependent on their volunteer workforce, both for governance, and for program and service delivery. Often, the same people who already give hours each week to their involvement with the organisation, not only approve… Continue reading Strategic Realism

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

Selected strategic intelligence sources

In a recent post, I promised to look at some possible free or low-cost sources of intelligence gathering (external monitoring) that your non-profit board and/or management team can use to inform your strategic direction. This post delivers on that promise, using sources clustered under each category in the STEEPLE model. Your organisation will doubtless have… Continue reading Selected strategic intelligence sources

Adaptive Strategy

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

Strategy and Risk: 2 sides of one coin

The argument that strategy and risk are two aspects of one governance activity has been highlighted by many pundits over time. In practice however, some non-profit boards still separate strategic planning from development and review of their risk register. My previous two posts (see links below) promoted the concept of continuous monitoring of the external… Continue reading Strategy and Risk: 2 sides of one coin

Continuous Reflective Governance

I’d like to amplify some points made in my previous post, which argued that directors need to continuously monitor their internal and external circumstances. The header image above illustrates the point that reflective governance requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to determine new and emerging priorities (the EDM Governance Model), and that the data being analysed… Continue reading Continuous Reflective Governance

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

Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Just as strategic mindsets can be framed in polarised pairs like Growth Vs Fixed, or Solution Vs Problem Oriented, risk management mindsets can also be described as Blocking or Enabling (see header illustration). While reducing any complex matter to a simple binary choice can lead to distorted thinking, when considering your risk mindset it is… Continue reading Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence