Thursday, April 30, 2015

Governance toolbox: April potpourri

I was so busy sharing great videos last week that I missed posting this month's potpourri opportunity. Since I've been gathering several interesting resources that don't quite form a theme lately, and I want to keep up the monthly tradition, the April toolbox comes a day early.

Change management vs. change leadership: What's the difference? --  John Kotter's work has long influenced my thinking and teaching on leadership and management. Finding this brief video in my Twitter feed this week was a special treat. I couldn't help thinking about the board's ultimate governance role exemplified in Kotter's definition of change leadership. That doesn't mean that others aren't part of the process. It doesn't mean that the board can be oblivious to the legitimate change management work that needs to happen. But the way he distinguishes between the two feels like a helpful way of highlighting where a nonprofit board's focus should be.

Principles and practices for nonprofit excellence in Colorado -- The Colorado Nonprofit Association has created a comprehensive resource for the state's sector that also serves as a model for other states and/or umbrella organizations. I won't pretend to be in a position of evaluating every, single item in this document. But it's easy to endorse the premise of what the CNA accomplished here: establishing some semblance of collective understanding of expectations, best practices, bottom lines, etc. It's something sorely needed in the sector - especially around governance - even if we'll never reach complete consensus on what that ideal should look like.

Seven ways curious leaders succeed -- Curiosity can equal the difference between perfectly adequate board performance and visionary leadership. This Leadership Freak post makes a great case for recognizing the power that curiosity brings to the process and the roles that leaders can play in fostering a culture where it can thrive. Share this post with your board. Share it with your board leaders. Talk about how you all can spark curiosity in your boardroom discussions - and how to value what it brings to your work.

7 ways to reach bull-headed teammates -- Maybe this should have been a "Leadership Freak"-themed toolbox... (My list of saved possibilities from that site is surprisingly long.) I'm including this one because it offers succinct, practical advice for dealing with one of the more problematic aspects of team leadership. As with all of Dan's posts, it's chock-full of straightforward tactics for addressing those individuals who dig in their heels, disrupt process and generally make life harder and more unpleasant for all. His counsel is simultaneously to the point and respectful of the person behind the challenge. Always welcome in group work.

Behavior counts: Putting your nonprofit board on a positive path -- I'm not sure there is any one element of Gary Kelsey's post that sticks out as more noteworthy than the others. But the collective package of advice for creating a strong board offers a great overview that I could see sharing as part of my effective governance introduction resources.

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