Friday, July 24, 2015

Governance toolbox: July this-n-that

Not to be confused with next week's "potpourri" post, this week's toolbox reflects the delightful mix of ideas, resources, and a little bit of humor that awaited when I pulled up the bookmarks saved for consideration.

Getting to strategic and generative governance: Tapping the connection between scenario thinking & mental models -- Frank Martinelli's LinkedIn post draws on the model that most influences my thinking (and informed my dissertation research), Governance as Leadership. Any post that draws attention to GAL and, most important, to the strategic and generative aspects of governance that it spotlights, is off to a good start for me. It also introduces the concepts of mental models and scenario thinking to readers. I'm sharing this one, both for the example he shares and for the resources he includes at the end of the post. 

Ten things boards to right (without even realizing it) -- Every once in a while, my RSS feed hiccups and offers up older links from a blog that I follow. That happened this week with the Blue Avocado feed, bringing this post and another that I'll share below. It's worthy of inclusion because it reminds us that board service is more multi-layered than the tasks that make up the typical board agenda - and so, too, are the contributions made. In an environment focused on the myriad "failures" of nonprofit boards, the message was a welcome change of pace. How are these represented in your board? What would you add to the list if given the chance?

DIY: Make a bylaws cheat sheet -- Another older Blue Avocado post that appeared in my feed this week, this one is exactly what the title suggests: a tool that any board will find handy in the moment. We all have those pesky question that we should know (e.g., how what constitutes a quorum?) that always send us scrambling for the bylaws copy that isn't always handy. The cheat sheet described takes those common questions and answers them, in a quick-access form. Take the list provided here. Adapt to cover the more common questions arising for your board. Create your own list. This is a great, small example of "performance support" that many boards will find useful.

Banish Boring Board Meetings with a Strategic Thinking Calendar -- I almost skipped including John Fulwider's latest post, because it contains a link to one of the entries here. But in the end, John's recommendations here, and his encouragement to create space for strategic thinking in board work, won out. That it ended with three reflection questions intended to launch the process was a lovely bonus.

How can nonprofits become agile learners? -- I'll close this week's toolbox with Beth Kanter's new post, on a topic near and dear. The entire post is noteworthy, but I'll point out the resources and references to reflective practice. I'll also point you to Beth's reference to agile learning being embedded in organizational culture. Hmmm. Sound familiar? I enjoy, and learn from, pretty much everything Beth writes; but this one hits particularly close to home.

How Can Nonprofits Become Agile Learners?
Ten Things Boards Do Right (Without Even Realizing It) - See more at:
Ten Things Boards Do Right (Without Even Realizing It) - See more at:
Ten Things Boards Do Right (Without Even Realizing It) - See more at:
Ten Things Boards Do Right (Without Even Realizing It) - See more at:

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