Five Good Ideas about good governance in disruptive times
Having a smart, creative, hard-working board is a major driver of an organization’s success at the best of times — but during periods of change or disruption it becomes crucial. That’s when any weakness in governance and oversight can crack the foundation of your organization. JoAnne Doyle of United Way Toronto & York Region shared five good ideas for focusing the work of your board to leverage the best of their leadership, and establish the right conditions for your organization to thrive.
Five Good Ideas
- Know Your Environment and Your Place In It
Develop a deep understanding of your entire ecosystem. Yes, get to know your partners. But just as importantly, your competitors. What drives them, what value do they add, and what can you learn from their approach?
- Step Outside the Echo Chamber
Being a little paranoid is a good thing. Gather insight from more than management by using third party sources like auditors, accreditors, community consultations, satisfaction surveys, complaint reports.
- Know the Rules and Play Within Them
Build a solid understanding of the rules so you’re not caught flat-footed when it really matters. Pay attention to compliance requirements in privacy, cyber protections, etc.
- Recruit True Diversity
Bring in diversity that represents a spectrum of cultures, ethnicity, gender, age — but don’t stop there. Diversity of experience and perspective is equally vital to a board’s success. Look for ways for clients to input to governance decisions beyond the board.
- Start Now
The distance between the ideal board and the current state of your governance might seem far — but you don’t have to do it all in a day. The most important thing is that you make a commitment to ongoing board development and that you start right now.
- Harvard article: Non-profit Coherence Framework
- Imagine Canada accreditation: http://sectorsource.ca/managing-organization/board-governance
- Diversity: http://diversecityonboard.ca/
- CRA: https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/business-and-accounting-resources/strategy-risk-and-governance/not-for-profit-governance
- McKinsey Article (a quick read): http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/agility-it-rhymes-with-stability