‘Proven Governance’ allows a Board or Council to drive itself towards excellence in governance and ongoing leadership of an organisation.
‘Proven Governance’ is a powerful test of a Board’s resolve to embed its values and principles. In addition, it can drive both individuals and Boards or Councils to develop more precise values and principles on which to base their behaviour.
‘Proven Governance’ is underpinned by the belief that the actual values to which individuals and organisations say they have commitment to, will, and should, find a place in the actual behaviour of those individuals and organisations. In simple terms, many individuals and organisations espouse lofty values and principles. The actual behaviour of those in governance may be aligned with these espoused values and principles or they may not. The key is that the organisation is able to articulate, by reference to very practical examples or policies, the way their values are built into the governance of the organisation.
One of the spin-off benefits of effective governance is that internal stakeholders (the executive team) will know how to work alongside the Board, because they will know what is important and what is valued. Clarity of purpose, encouraged by ‘Proven Governance’, provides the confidence for teams to begin to develop policy & work more effectively across structures and roles.
We suggest that to attain standing as a Board with ‘Proven Governance’ at its heart the following 7 points be aspired to.
1. Have developed a statement that indicates that it has a clear sense of purpose, as defined by those who represent the organisation.
- As articulated by: The Board being able to indicate clearly with practical examples, the ways in which this has been built-in to its vision and mission.
2. Have a statement of ‘vision and mission’ that guides the development of its governance policy.
- As articulated by: The vision and mission of the organisation ‘built-in’ to the policy of the Board, so that the governance of the organisation can ‘prove’ its commitment to its’ key aspirations.
- As articulated by: Carefully identifying the range of areas where it should have created clear policies that will help define and direct the organisation – the policies created by the Board are its ‘mark in the sand’ about what it believes and how it wants to govern. None is more important than the way it wants to ‘prove’ it is committed to its vision and mission.
3. Make clear to the Head/Chief Executive the boards understanding of their leadership role.
- As articulated by: The Board being able to prove that it has defined this challenge clearly and that it has built it in to the governance role.
4. Be able to articulate and focus on the core activity of the organisation.
- As articulated by: The Board having the capacity to understand clearly the key drivers of the organisation – focussing on these areas, governance can make a crucial difference to the effectiveness of management and the organisations success.
- As articulated by: The Board being able to identify the core activity of the organisation – not to manage these activities, but to define the expectations and create clear policy that will guide the organisation’s development.
5. Have an active governance development process in place. This process will guide the Board in the selection of new members and enable the Board to deal with the development and, if necessary, the discipline of members.
- As articulated by: The Board being able to display its activity in each of these areas of Board member development and discipline
- As articulated by: The Board having active procedures to deal with the inevitable difficulty or crisis moment.
6. Have a process where active policy is related automatically to the provision of adequate resourcing levels.
- As articulated by: The provision of resourcing to accompany all active policy – evaluation is only possible when the policy has a capacity to be implemented.
- As articulated by: Appropriate resource allocation – which is the foundation ‘proof’ for the Board or Council to show that it understands the importance of evaluation. The two are related because evaluation of any School activity that has not been adequately resourced is essentially a measure of the failure of governance.
7. Have an active review process to enable it to evaluate the organisation in the light of the policy developed by the Board.
- As articulated by: The effective evaluation of the organisations Board and the Chief Executive – crucial to the ability of the Board to prove its competence in this area, will be its capacity to focus on the core activities of the organisation.
Having these areas defined and goals established, to enable evaluation, are the first steps in the ‘Proven Governance’ challenge.
For more information about how ‘Proven Governance’ can improve your organisation’s Board outcomes please contact us for a confidential discussion.