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Is your governance great?

Posted August 30, 2010

You know about the benefits of good governance – a shared commitment to mission achievement and organizational sustainability. But how do you evaluate governance? How do you know if your governance is great?

Governance includes a wide range of activities, such as financial oversight, strategy formulation, and securing resources required for long-term organizational health. The tricky part of evaluating governance is that great governance is particular to each individual organization. The key to assessing your organization’s governance is determining what your organization needs from the board of directors and evaluating how well the board is meeting those specific needs.

The work required to evaluate an organization’s governance practices can be challenging: it requires leadership, a shared understanding of what success looks like and strong relationships between the chief executive, the board chair and the board as a whole. The good news is there are resources out there to help you assess and develop your governance systems and structures so they fit your organization’s unique needs.

Some resources and learning opportunities:

What are your preferred governance tools and resources? Share them with your colleagues by leaving a comment below…


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  • Sheila Kay Davis

    I can’t stress the importance of the relationship between executive staff, the board chair and the board. No relationship or a bad relationship will equal a sinking ship. Do not bring on board members based on their social position, alma mater, money etc. Board members should be chosen based on if they truly believe in your mission and are willing to put in the sweat equity.
    Disruptive, ego-driven board members who join boards “to run something” are anathema to an arts organization. Good governance stems from good relationships. At the end of the day people do business with people and relationships are the driving force. There are many many people with the “know how” chose ones with it BUT they should also have other qualities including patience ,compassion and common sense.