Friday, February 01, 2019

Learning from Policy Governance

The Policy Governance Model developed years ago by John Carver and Miriam Carver is a very savvy way of fostering positive relationships between a non-profit board and the organization's Chief Executive Officer. A key part of the process is that the board sets Ends policies stating where and what it wants the organization to be but then it also sets Executive Limitations polices describing what it wants the CEO to avoid doing. As a result, the CEO has a lot of running room. The board sets policy and the CEO executes that policy without micro-management by the board.

Carry that concept into life and you have your goals, a grasp of what you want to avoid doing, and then enormous flexibility as to how you will achieve your goals. The "refrain from" part can be as important as to the "to do" part.

I'd add a caveat. Refraining from negative or harmful behavior can prevent crises that will demand a lot of time and effort merely to restore the status-quo.  The doing, however, is what will move the organization (and you) forward. Preventing disasters and scandals is a great good but each day the question must be: how have we moved forward?

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