Governance Models

Steve Dill
Senior Vice President
Traditional board model
◦ Multiple committees, involvement in management issues, often a lack of
clarity between governance and management roles and responsibilities.
◦ Key reference (among others): Governing Boards ( C.Houle, 1989)
Carver Policy Governance
◦ Policy Categories: (1) Ends, (2) Executive Limitations, (3) Board/CEO
linkage, and (4) Governance
◦ Key reference: Boards That Make A Difference ( J.Carver, 1997)
Generative Leadership
◦ Policy roles for boards: (1) Fiduciary, (2) Strategic, (3) Generative
◦ Key reference: Governance as Leadership ( Chait, Ryan,Taylor, 2005)
Modified Carver Models for Christian schools:
◦ Mission-Directed Governance: Leading the Christian School with
Vision, Unity and Accountability ( L.Stob, 2011)
◦ Community Governance: A Framework for Building Healthy
Christian Organisations ( Bartlett & Campey, 2008)
“For profit” enterprises have shareholders
expecting a financial return, but Christian
organizations have different parameters:
Christian (schools) serve a community of “Moral
Owners” who have come together to support a
specific kingdom ministry.
Christian schools operate as a Christian
community, relying heavily on relationships to
hold them together.
Christian schools have a vision and mission that
relates to serving others
Thus ….a relationship driven model is needed…
Community Governance Model
(Bartlett and Campey)
Contact Community
◦ local (or national, international)region served
Connected Community
◦ Christian community that potentially connects to
the core mission/vision/values
Core Community
◦ The actual existing Christian school community –
board, faculty/staff, parents, students, donors
A Christ Centric framework –
◦ An organism (I Cor.12) rather than an organization
◦ Emphasis on relationships within a Covenant
◦ Missional focus (not closed or inward focused)
Core values – biblical foundations &
Mission (Core Purpose) – why we exist
Vision (Preferred future; B&C use “Mission”)
Key Board role: keep the core community
accountable to Values/Mission/Vision
Governance is “steering” – more about “authority
to” than “authority over” (government)
In good governance, boards make ….
◦ Decisions that define expectations (policy making)
◦ Decisions that delegate authority (primarily to Head of
◦ Decisions to review or verify performance (via reporting and
accountability from the CEO and to the moral owners)
Governance vs. Management
◦ Both are about leadership – but there is a different focus in
these two zones
◦ Focused on present and
the future
◦ Focused primarily with
leadership questions
◦ Vision oriented
◦ Seeks to establish and
monitor policy
◦ Predominately proactive
◦ Focus to initiate
◦ Sets the agenda
◦ Focuses on the past and
the present
◦ Focused primarily with
management questions
◦ Task and detail oriented
◦ Seeks to establish and
carry out policy
◦ Predominately reactive
◦ Tends to administer
◦ Follows the agenda
Bartlett and Campey, p.28
Fiduciary governance mode:
◦ Focus: stewardship of tangible assets
◦ Typical: listen to reports, ask questions of management,
mechanical votes, may be more “bored” than a “board”.
Strategic governance mode:
◦ Partnership with management in strategic planning
◦ Emphasis on performance rather than “conformance”
Generative governance
◦ Strategy flows from insight, intuition, scenario
discussion, improvisation (not structured planning per
se, but good planning can inspire generative thinking)
Fiduciary & Strategic Mode
Management defines the
Board structure follows
administrative structures
Board meetings are
process driven
Function follows form
Protocol rarely varies
Management transmits
lots of information from
few sources
Generative Mode
Board and management
think together
Board structure reflects
organizational priorities
Board meetings are
content driven
Form follows function
Protocol often varies
Board and management
discuss key data from
multiple sources
‘In generative thinking, issues will be framed by the board noticing cues
and clues, choosing and using frames, thinking retrospectively and
making sense from what is observed.”
Bartlett and Campey, p.30
Moral owners
◦ Key ownership group that the board is elected from and
accountable to; starts with the group of people who
originally responded to the call from God to start the school
◦ Can articulate the “why” of the school; committed to the
core values, mission and vision; the “heart” of the
◦ Healthy Christian schools are always recruiting new moral
owners to join the cause
◦ Elected/appointed to represent the moral owners and fulfill
governance responsibilities
◦ Appointing new board members – critical element to long
term success and sustainability (must come from the Core
◦ Board committees – standing vs. ad hoc
◦ Board evaluation
Personnel (Employees)
◦ Christian commitment is THE critical component
◦ Who we serve – Discipleship vs. Evangelistic Models
“Why” sustainers
“Who” sustainers
“What” sustainers
“How sustainers”
◦ Problem: decline in number of moral owners
◦ Membership process, By-laws, Statement of Faith, Annual Meeting,
effective marketing and communication
◦ Problem: disconnect between board and moral owners
◦ Constitution, Annual Meeting, updates to moral owners, clear policies,
◦ Problem: dysfunctional boards; poor board/head of school relationship;
ineffective head of school
◦ Consistent, thoughtful performance reviews (board and head), job
descriptions, employment contracts, policy handbook, board reporting
◦ Problem: unhealthy organizational practice; weak board/executive
◦ Clear concise policy consistently practiced; ongoing recruitment of key
“The problem in many Christian organizations is that they are not safe places
relationally.” (Bartlett and Campley, p.65)
Focus must be on the central core: core values, mission and vision
Characteristics of an effective board:
The board’s role is clear and distinct from staff.
The board has a governance focus.
Board members understand their roles.
The board links with “moral owners”.
The Head of School is the one agent of the board.
 Responsible for achieving mission focused goals
 Clear parameters and role clarity
Policies are organized into a board handbook.
The board chair “manages” the board.
Board committees serve board needs and speak to the board, not for the board.
Board meetings are well planned
Board members are selected and well oriented.
The board accepts responsibility for improving itself.
The board and Head of School have a clear strategic planning process that results in
an ongoing appropriate plan for the future.

similar documents