Appreciative Governance: Engagement and Innovation Throughout The Organization
Boards of Directors and Executive Management committees come to mind whenever we mention organizational governance. This premise that those at the top are the only ones “governing” has less and less face validity. Wherever people work together, they make choices which influence the organizations direction, choices that set standards of relationship, behavior and accountability and choices that shape fulfillment of the organizations purpose. In other words, they govern. Why not then engage them in governance processes that support sustainable value for all? Appreciative Governance is such a process. Appreciative Governance (AG) refers to governance structures, practices, and processes that increase the organization’s capacity for innovation, engagement and productivity by systematically engaging more of the system's strengths. This interactive webinar will explore this new form of governance and invite participants to consider the life-giving structures and processes which would enhance their organization’s capacity to work together in positive, dynamic, and generative ways that enact their purpose.
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Today’s Speakers Bernard Mohr Neil SamuelsAssisting with Co-Founder Presidentchat questions: Innovation Partners International Profound Conversations, Inc.April Hunt &Riley Croft, Hosting:Nonprofit Webinars Sam Frank, Synthesis PartnershipA Service Of: Sponsored by:
Appreciative Governance for Nonprofits: Engagement and Innovation Throughout The OrganizationBernard Mohr: Innovation Partners InternationalNeil Samuels: Profound Conversations, Inc. 5
GOALS & AGENDATakeaways from today’s Webinar:• Understand the need for new models of governance• Understand how Appreciative Governance (AG) differs from traditional forms of Governance• Understand the benefits of adopting this new form of governance• Learn about a set Principles to guide the design of Appreciative Governance for your organization• Learn about a high-engagement methodology for designing Appreciative Governance modelsAgenda:1. The need for new models of governance2. How Appreciative Governance (AG) differs from traditional forms of Governance3. So what – Benefits?4. Principles for Designing Appreciative Governance Systems5. Implementing AG through co-design
Some Background Information1.How would you rate current governance systems in the non profit sector? a) Very effective b) Moderately effective c) Slightly effective d) Ineffective e) Very ineffective2. How experienced are you in designing governance systems? a) Very experienced b) Moderately experienced c) Slightly experienced d) No experience3. How familiar are you with Appreciative Inquiry? a) Experienced practitioner of AI at whole organization level b) Have used AI a number of times to drive results c) Attended training and have tried it out a few times d) Have been exposed to it – read about it. e) I can spell AI
The Need for Governing Differently1.An increasing pattern of Governance failure – Roman Catholic Church, the United Way, The American Red Cross, NAACP, the American Cancer Society, and Toys for Tots (Gibelman & Gelman, 2000) – Great Depression of 1929…. 2008 Wall Street crash – Enron, MCI/Worldcom, Adelphia Communications, Arthur Andersen, Global Crossing, Tyco2.The “new normal” - Nilofer Merchant – "Leadership" has changed when a decentralized group of people can take down a government. E.g. Egypt, Tunisia – "The Value Chain" has changed when the client is no longer just the “receiver of services" but also a co-creator. – "Human Resources" have changed when many of the people who create value for your organization are neither hired nor paid by you. – ”How work gets done and financed" has changed when individuals can create value through a centralized network of resources: for example, designing a product from anywhere, producing it through a 3D factory, financing it through community and distribution from anywhere to anywhere.3.Need for full engagement of heads, hearts, and minds -- “within the existing paradigm of “direct and control” the people assumed to be most able to manage the accountability are those who sit at the top of the pyramid, the Board of Directors”
Governance ComparisonDimension Traditional View of Governance Appreciative GovernanceThrust Emphasizes controlling or Emphasizes mobilizing and encouraging preventing behavior that is illegal, behavior that is legal, ethical, and positive unethical, or detrimental to the to the long-term interests of shareholders interests of shareholders. and stakeholders while maintaining a posture of deterrence of behavior antithetical to those interests. AG illuminates and more broadly accesses the organization’s strengths, resources, and assets.Key Actors Views the board of directors as the Acknowledges that everyone in the key actors in governing organization carries out governance — the board of directors, management, and all other employees.Focus Focuses on board activities of Focuses on the organization’s structures, senior management selection and practices, and processes and the full compensation, advising senior range of all employees’ behaviors as management, and reviewing related to Parson’s four functions of accuracy of financial reporting and governance (Adaptation, Goal adequacy of compliance efforts. Achievement, Integration and Long Term Development).Orientation Begins with a problem-prevention Begins from a strength-based perspective point of view and is advocacy and is inquiry driven. driven.
Appreciative Governance – Def’nAppreciative Governance (AG) refers to structures, practices, and processes that:• identify and align individual and organizational strengths;• maximize collaboration, learning, and innovation; and• create full engagement and accountability…. resulting in an agile organization capable of rapid, effective decisions at the most local levels and an innovative climate that ensures mission sustainability.
Why Appreciative Governance?What benefits do you see in adopting this new form of governance? – for employees and/or volunteer staff? – for management? – for clients/service recipients?
Benefits of Appreciative Governance?• Increases adaptability through faster/better decision making• Distributes and deepens accountability• More fully engages staff and volunteers• Illuminates and more broadly accesses the organization’s strengths and resources• Broadens and deepens relationships• Speeds knowledge transfer• Encourages innovation
Principles of AGHow We Think of Principles:1. A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.2. The basis for design choices.
Principles for Designing AG• Interdependent• Mutually inclusive• Create the fabric of the system
Implementing AG through Co-Design The Appreciative Governance Design Matrix (Based on Talcott Parson’s writings and adapted from work by John J Cotter and William O Lytle) Four “Surfaces” where Governance “Takes Place” 2. Laterally – 3. Vertically – 4. Organization 1. Within Work Group To Along And it’s Work Group Work Group Managerial Environment Hierarchy4 Governance Functions Adaptation Goal (AGIL) Attainment Integration Long Term Sustainability
Implementing AG through Co-Design Board and Executive Mng’t explore :1.What does the “there” that we most Engage the organization in want/need look like? making an informed Start small, act decision about where and fast, reflect,1.Why would we want to with whom in your get to “there”? what organization you want to learn, adjust – would we gain? And why not just stay as begin creating an expand. we are? appreciative governance system.3. What are the optionsfor moving from “here tothere” (i.e. what is thedesign process for us?)4. What are implicationsfor us and ourleadership
SUMMARY1. Boards of Directors and Executive Management committees come to mind whenever we mention organizational governance. This premise that those at the top are the only ones “governing” has less and less face validity.1. Wherever people work together, they make choices that set standards of relationship, behavior and accountability …with consequences for organizational success.1. Why not then engage them in a governance system that explicitly supports Adaptation, Goal Achievement, Integration, and Long Term Development at all levels - i.e. – Appreciative Governance.2. Appreciative Governance (AG) refers to structures, practices, and processes that: • identify and align individual and organizational strengths; • maximize collaboration, learning, and innovation; and • create full engagement and accountability …. resulting in an agile organization capable of rapid, effective decisions at the most local levels and an innovative climate that ensures mission sustainability.
An Accelerated AG Implementation Process Refine the Model And Design The Act-Evolve Review and Process Deploy Reconfigure Mobilize Act – Evolve Model the New Governance Architecture Relationally & Structurally Iterate Stress Test Imagine Create Shared Will • Identify Positive Core • Draft Shared Purpose Connect-Explore AG SUMMIT Process*• Based on work by the STS RT “Designing the Adaptive Enterprise.” Discovery Sub-Team (Doug Austrom, Don De Guerre, Bob Laliberte, Helen Maupin, Bernard Mohr and Carolyn Ordowich), presented at New Orleans Annual Meeting of the STS Round Table, September 28 to Oct 1. 2011
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