27 October 2008

What is the definition of Governance?

Welcome back!

I often try to answer questions that come up in our workshops and presentations. On one of the evaluation forms, someone stated the need for a definition of governance. I believe that is definition is extremely important and is foundational to a clear understanding of what the board's job outputs need to be and what the board should expect to do.

Here is the definition:
The job of the group granted full accountability and full authority for value produced on behalf of those who morally if not legally own the organization. The servant-leadership work of the highest and initial authority within the organization.

By making policy, the board governs proactively through explicit statements of values rather than reactively or through event-specific decisions. Boards must be at least as disciplined as they expect their staffs to be.

This definition is clearly different that how many boards define their work. Many boards with which I have worked have started without any clear definition of the work that they are to do. Then act as though the believe that there work is in competition with the role of their chief executive officer or executive director. The role of governance is not management with a megaphone. The role is strategic leadership about the difference the organization is to make in the world, outside the walls of the organization. It is to assure that the difference is made and that unacceptable situations and circumstances are avoided. It is to link the organization to its membership or moral ownership and act on its behalf.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.

23 October 2008

Alternative Board Governance Workshop Title

Welcome back!

A friend just sent me this suggestion for the name of my workshop:

"Boards, Bar Fights, and Beautiful Music: A case study in how to avoid the one, and make lots of the other."

I am going to use it in my introduction.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.

21 October 2008

Policy Governance Workshop in Los Angeles, October 28

Welcome back!

I will be giving a workshop at the Southern California Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles. I hope you can come and learn about the most comprehensive system of board governance that installs accountability as an organizational characteristic and adds value to the organization.

More information is here.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.

19 October 2008

Workshop/Talk about board governance in Miami, Florida

Welcome back! I will be in Miami, Florida talking about Policy Governance.

Friday, October 24: 3:00 - 4:15 PM
Miami, Florida

A board of directors needs to know its job and have the right tools. The job of governance is about values, vision, empowerment of both board and staff, and the strategic ability to lead leaders. This workshop looks at a case study of how one board brought added value to a new organization; helps everyone from beginners to veterans.

Co-presenter: GABE VEAS
Room: Granada

The event is: CCDA's 19th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

OCTOBER 22-26, 2008




There is also a workshop coming up the following week in Los Angeles at the Center for Nonprofit Management.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.

05 October 2008

Transparency and Accountability

Welcome back!

The IRS has been in the process of updating its reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations. Specifically, on the filing of Form 990. We had thought that by now the process of changing the form and pubic comment would have been completed. However, they seem to still be in the process of revision and completion of that work. They do have some new items posted for nonprofit including this, on transparency and accountability:

By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finance, and governance publicly available, a charity encourages transparency and accountability to its constituents. The Internal Revenue Code requires a charity to make its Form 1023 exemption application, Form 990, and Form 990-T, available for public inspection. The Internal Revenue Service encourages every charity to adopt and monitor procedures to ensure that its Form 1023, Form 990, Form 990-T, annual reports, and financial statements, are complete and accurate, are posted on its public website, and are made available to the public upon request. Organizations that file Form 990 will find that Part VI, Section C, Lines 18 and 19, ask whether and how an organization makes its Form 1023, Form 990 and Form 990-T, governing documents, conflict of interest policy, and financial statements available to the public.

--Governance and Related Topics - 501(c)(3) Organizations, Posted February 4, 2008. irs.gov

For a board that uses the Policy Governance system, the board level policy document will nicely serve as one of the governance process documents to be made publicly available.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.