Advancing Board Excellence – Broadening the Generative Experience
2013 Advancing Board Excellence:Broadening the Generative Experience Paul Van Dolah
Characteristics of Exceptional BoardsCommon Denominators Frank and Open Relationship Intentional Engaged
Frank and Open RelationshipOpen relationship between the chief executive andthe board Honest communication Committed to collective success Mutual trust, respect and appreciation Partnering to make sense of situations, determining what matters and solving dilemmas
IntentionalRight people in the right place. . . Thoughtful Self aware Proactive
EngagedBeyond simply attending Personal motivation and commitment Intellectual curiosity Appetite for challenges Passion for the cause
12 The SourceTwelve Principles of Governance that Power Exceptional Boards BoardSource 2005
Constructive PartnershipExceptional Boards govern in constructivepartnership with the CEO, recognizing that theeffectiveness of the board and the CEO areinterdependent. Boards forge a partnership characterized by mutual trust, forthrightness and a common commitment to the mission. CEOs provide Boards with tools and information to govern. Welcome differing points of view and strategic thinking at the Board table.
Constructive PartnershipResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsDelegate operations Trust, candor and respect Face and resolveto the CEO problems early Sharing good and bad newsEvaluate CEO annually Attract more qualified CEOs Communication in andEnsure fair and between meetings Retain talentedcompetitive compensation CEOs longer Open and honest CEODevelop a job description Change executive leadershipwith and for the CEO Insightful tools and information at the right time
2 Mission DrivenExceptional Boards shape and uphold themission, articulate a compelling vision, andensure the congruence between decisionsand the core values. Exceptional Boards treat questions of mission, vision and values as statements of crucial importance to be drilled down and folded into their deliberations. Recognize when it is necessary to change course and help the CEO with the execution of change.
Mission DrivenResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsArticulate clear statement Use of mission, vision, Sharply addressof mission and values in decision making community needsUphold organizational values Congruence between Inspire staff to reframe mission, vision and values and strategies and elevate goals day to day work Improve advocacy, fundraising and marketing Maximize the value of grants and contributions
3 Strategic ThinkingExceptional Boards allocate time to what mattersmost and continuously engage in strategicthinking to hone the organization’s direction. They stay current with internal and external forces of change. They look backwards and forward to understand what has emerged and what is possible. Move away from report driven formats and toward meaningful discussions that drive strategy. Members help clarify thorny problems, offer breakthrough insights, present new ways of framing challenges and generate strategic ideas.
Strategic Thinking Responsible Boards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsSet direction Considerable time spent Become a strategic asset on consequential issues and a source of leadershipEstablish and reviewstrategic plans Constant strategic thinking Sharpen direction, address difficult issuesMonitor performance Joint Board – Staff efforts to and identify opportunitiesagainst plans frame and explore issues Generate solutions Alignment of agendas that are understood and CEO goals and supported with priorities
4 Culture of InquiryExceptional Boards institutionalize a culture ofinquiry, mutual respect and constructivedebate that leads to sound and shareddecision making. Members are well prepared in advance, respectfully listen to, acknowledge and solicit different points of view. Members synthesize and aggregate diverse views to advance the dialogue. They seek information, question assumptions and challenge conclusions. They tap into the collective expertise of the members.
Culture of InquiryResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsHave members who work Mutual respect and trust Engage and energizewell with each other their members Actively managed group dynamicsReceive and review Expose fullmaterials in advance Openness to questions, challenges range of opinions and differences of opinionConvene well organized Make better decisionsmeetings Multiple sources of information Own and supportFocus meetings on their decisionsfiduciary duties
5 Independent - MindednessExceptional Boards are independent minded.When making decisions, Board members putthe interest of the organization above all else. Members establish a point of view separate from the CEO, and set aside personal agendas. Effectively manage duality of interests through appropriate conflict of interest practices. Members avoid undue influence by loyalty to CEO, position, or reputation of fellow Board members
Independent- MindednessResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsAdopt conflict of Unqualified loyalty Make decisions in theinterest policies best interest Independent thinking drawn of the organizationDisclose and do not vote from multiple sourceson matters of Minimize risk ofpersonal interest Decision making free poor decisions of undue influence and negative publicity Rigorous conflict of interest procedures
6 Ethos of TransparencyExceptional Boards promote an ethos oftransparency by ensuring that donors,stakeholders and interested members ofthe public have access to appropriateand accurate information regardingfinances, operations and results.
Ethos of TransparencyResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsComply with government Active exchange between Alongside staff, feel connectedfiling requirements Board and staff to the organizationReport annually on Openness with donors Cultivate relationshipsaccomplishments and and public with donors and stakeholdersuse of funds Whistle blower policies Earn public trust and support to protect staff
7 Compliance with IntegrityExceptional Boards promote strong ethicalvalues and disciplined compliance byestablishing appropriate mechanisms foractive oversight. Ensure that an explicit set of ethical values. and standards have been candidly discussed and clearly communicated. Establish and monitor internal controls.
Compliance with IntegrityResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsEnsure compliance Financially attentive Judiciously allocatewith the law and astute and oversee resources Board membersApprove budget Deeply understandand review financial Vigorous oversight their organizationsperformance Proactive risk management Minimize riskObtain independent reviewor audit of financials Auditors and compensation Display highest standards consultants report to Board of ethical conductEnsure appropriate insuranceRevise bylaws as necessary
8 Sustaining ResourcesExceptional Boards link bold visions andambitious plans to financial support, expertiseand networks of influence. o Have financial plans aligned with strategic, operating and development plans. o Diversify and maximize sustainable revenue sources. Develop and monitor a portfolio of income streams. o Ensure the existence of a strong internal infrastructure and capacity.
Sustaining ResourcesResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsApprove balanced budget Creative and diverse Generate increased revenue Revenue sourcesAccept fundraising Extend programmatic capacityresponsibilities and Enthusiasm for bold visions of organizationcontribute personally And ambitious plans Improve organization’s standingDevelop and Monitor Active involvement in solicitations in the communityInvestments Intellectual, social, political,Promote organization And reputation capitalto the community
9 Results OrientedExceptional Boards are results oriented. Theymeasure the organization’s advancementtowards mission and evaluate theperformance of the major programs andservices. Measure overall efficiency, effectiveness and impact. Identify critical indicators that flow from the organization’s mission, vision and strategic priorities. Assess quality of service delivery, integrate benchmarks and calculate return on investments. Use information to make mid-course corrections, changing and refreshing strategic and operational plans as appropriate.
Results OrientedResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsMonitor financial Incisive program evaluation Maximize resource utilizationperformance without micromanaging Meaningful performance metricsReceive programmatic Focus on outcomesupdates Early issue identification not inputs Benchmarking against peers Drive programmatic activities to excellence
10 Intentional Board PracticesExceptional Boards intentionally structurethemselves to fulfill essential governanceduties and to support organizational priorities. They think explicitly about size, structure and schedule of Board operations. They value efficiency and flexibility in leadership structures. They invest in structures and practices that transcend individual, document them for institutional memory and adapt them to changing circumstances. Exceptional Boards make meetings matter.
Intentional Board PracticesResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsDesign Board size, structures Intentional and strategic Engage in action orientedand meetings to accomplish approach to Board results driven workwork of the Board operations Use Board member time wiselyDocument practices, policies Flexibility in responseand decisions to changing environment Reap full benefit of members’ talents Member assignments aligned with priorities Connect to the work of the organization Executive sessions
11 Continuous LearningExceptional Boards embrace the qualities of acontinuous learning organization, evaluatingtheir own performance and assessing thevalue they add to the organization. Members participate in a formal orientation and continuous education. They embed learning opportunities into their routine governance work. They learn from the organization’s history and experiences. They undertake routine Board assessments to evaluate their own performance.
Continuous LearningResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsOrient new Board members Learning activities built Are well informed about into Board work the external environmentUse Board member skills Knowledge drawn Grow on the job, and contribute from outside the boardroom at increasing levels Board evaluation of individual Regularly upgrade and collective performance their governing practices 28
12 RevitalizationExceptional Boards energize themselvesthrough planned turnover, thoughtfulrecruitment and inclusiveness. Use term limits and a well defined process for recruitment. Recognize that diversity and inclusiveness are essential for success. Recognizing the importance of leadership development and succession planning, they groom chairs and officers through transparent and participatory practices.
RevitalizationResponsibleBoards X The Source Of Power = Exceptional BoardsRecruit based on individual Clarify around expectations Know their roles and functioncompetencies and personal of Board members well as a groupconnections Diversity of perspectives Include important voicesEstablish a committee at the Board tableto manage the recruitment Continuous recruitmentprocess Have a ready supply of Thoughtful use of term renewals new Board members Officer succession planning Experience smooth leadership transitions