It’s a legitimate question to ask: Do the thousands of public and nonprofit boards (and their millions of trustees) need one more expert consultant to provide advice about how to lead more capably? How to govern more effectively?
I think so, or I wouldn’t be starting Change-Making Board Services, a consulting firm created specifically to support public and nonprofit governance.
Besides consultants, of course, there are also a huge number of books, training manuals, websites, podcasts, and the like offering an abundance of information on just about every aspect of board governance and trusteeship that you can imagine.
The problem, unfortunately, is that much of the past wisdom offered up to trustees is for boards overseeing organizations that simply no longer exist. For our public and nonprofit institutions to survive in today’s environment—let alone become high-performing—they have to successfully navigate change. Successful organizations direct their future, instead of being directed by it.
Is your board providing consequential governance for its organization where the only constant is continuous change? Does your board’s oversight make any difference in helping to create what surely every dedicated trustee wants to achieve—a change-making organization?
A new governance framework is necessary to lead the work of our public and nonprofit agencies for the uncertain and fast-paced world which they operate in today. The pressures on the important and vital enterprise your board governs are deeper and more acute than older models of board governance envisioned.
For public and nonprofit boards to guide true organizational transformation, the board must start with its own transformation.
A change-making model of board governance is not about updating bylaws or switching to a new meeting format. Rather, it starts with a board willing to identify key Practices . . . Actions . . . Styles . . . Attitudes . . . Manners . . . Behaviors . . . Attributes and develop the relationships among them (in future posts, you’ll see me collectively refer to these as the PASAMBAs) which underlie a concept of board governance fostering and supporting improved organizational responsiveness to change.
I’ve met and worked with many public and nonprofit trustees over the course of my career. To a person, as a board member, they all serve with the goal of sustaining and strengthening their organizations. The best way for this to take place is to more fully understand the phenomenon of how boards can encourage and reinforce productive change—when doing so has become a condition of organizational survival.
That’s what Change-Making Board Services is here to assist your board in doing. Welcome to the journey!