Enables the Board to add real value by clearly setting the vision and direction of the organization.
- “…a strong future orientation.”
- “…a greater understanding of the need to focus on the Ends.”
- “When issues arise we can point to policies that will guide us.”
- “…allowed us to see our vision and goals for the future in a much more meaningful way. As Chair I am very happy with my Board performance during the last year.”
- “…promotes decision-making for the good of the industry at large, rather than ‘tunnel vision’ or ‘special interest’.”
- “…consistency in Board decision-making … no room for ‘one way this time and another way next time’.”
- “One of the cornerstones of our long-term success rests on our commitment to a strong set of Governance principles and a method of clearly articulating these principles to management. As Chair I am committed to providing the Board with leadership that results in the organization attaining the highest level of performance. To this end, I believe the Board’s Policy Governance framework is the key component in enabling us to achieve our Vision.”
- “I come into a board meeting at energy level 7 and leave it at level 9 or 10. It’s something that creates positive energy.”
- “…enables “the 40,000-foot view.”
Enables the Board to connect with and be accountable to those for whom it holds the organization in trust.
- “The community trusts because of concrete achievements . . .We move the agenda very quickly. We’ve been able to accomplish things we’d been told were impossible, and good governance allows us to do that.”
- “The board now organizes the time and effort to meet with industry groups in a deliberate way…as a result, a broader view and greater knowledge of the diverse membership and their issues.”
- “Nice to see that the organization wants to hear what we think, how we can move the profession forward.”
Makes best use of valuable board time by focusing on the most important issues.
- “…less committee work”
- “…has completely eliminated a list of reports that were not necessary for board members … I was impressed to see a decrease in time wasted [at AGM] reading prepared reports.”
- “…neat, clean way to run the board meetings … better use of board meeting time …shorter meetings.”
- “…has added a great deal of structure to our Board operations and improved our efficiency.”
Creates freedom for innovative thinking.
- “Thinking outside the box has been used so much in the business community and in our society that it has become a cliché. The problem is that even when you’re outside the box, the box still exists, imposing its limitations to a certain extent or at least providing points of reference. Policy Governance has taken us so far outside the box that the box no longer exists. It encourages the mind to explore options that have no bounds, allowing one to consider all possibilities. As new members of the Board caught the vision, they found themselves empowered to expand their thinking, to explore possibilities that they had never thought possible. At the same time, Policy Governance gave us a structure and form that kept us focused on our responsibilities to our owners and our Ends. It was an amazing combination that took us beyond anything that we had thought possible and the results were exceptional. There was substantial resistance from the general membership in the beginning but we persisted. Even the early detractors came to realize that this was a positive move in the way that we did business and there has been no looking back.”
- “Policy Governance has empowered our staff and unleashed their creativity and innovation. At the same time we feel that it has increased our accountability to our governing Council and to our members and stakeholders. When implemented with the full commitment of the board and staff, it is a true innovation in governance.”
- “It allows us to hire an Executive Director who is professional and experienced in the specific field and allow him/her the freedom and authority to do the best possible job with a long term vision, without having to deal with micro managing or the changing priorities of an ever changing board roster.”
- “The most important result of implementing Policy Governance has been the confidence to give more flexibility to the management team. We had a highly skilled and highly educated team that could deliver … We were able to give them a free hand, with accountability to show us that they delivered what was planned.”
- “…a tool for fostering leadership in growing organizations.”
Provides clear rational separation of the roles of the Board and management.
- “The delineation of board work and CEO work is clearer.”
- “…a much clearer and defined understanding of governance and management …better understanding of role, authority and expectations.”
- “It challenges the board members to be constantly aware of their roles as board members.”
Promotes teamwork between the Board and management—roles are clear.
- “…has made the Board a much closer group.”
- “This model has changed the way I [as a board member] link with members, in that gossip has basically disappeared… The board very carefully planned how it would communicate…”
- “When an opportunity comes along that is consistent with the expected results and within the limitations already specified by the Board, the people closest to what needs to be done can go ahead and take action.” [a CEO]
- “The Policy Governance model was very helpful in our recruiting process [for a CEO] … Conclusively, I would say that our new CEO understands that Policy Governance is of key importance to us, and management details are his business.”
Cures rubber-stamping and meddling, allowing appropriate Board involvement …in the right things.
- “…increased our ability as a board to focus on linking with the owners, to spend our time goal-setting, to control what happens in the organization through policy, rather than being involved in management details.”
- “The Board is staying focused on governance—the big picture—more attention to external vision than internal detail”
- “…the elimination of a number of traditional committees that were actually doing staff work did not mean that the Board would no longer communicate with them. In fact, it was devising more effective methods of linkage.”
Makes accountability meaningful.
- “…an accountability framework that is easily understood.”
- “It keeps the lines of accountability clean between the CEO and the Board.”
- “…does not leave a lot of room for Board members to have private ‘hobby-horses’ …the Board only has power when they are together.”
- “As Board Chair, I used to feel uncomfortable if a member asked why the organization was doing something and I didn’t know. Now it’s clear that if it’s an operational issue I don’t need to know. I can suggest that the member contact the Executive Director, who will put them in contact with the appropriate staff.”
- “…an effective, transparent governance process.”
- “Trust means knowing that if the board questions me [the CEO] about something, they’re doing it to hold me accountable, and that’s their job.”
Makes CEO evaluation fairer and more rigorous—expectations are clear.
- “If some traditional boards think Policy Governance does not provide staff accountability just speak with our Executive Director about the monitoring reports that must be submitted to the Board. We believe there is much more accountability in monitoring the right things. I speak from experience as I have been president of the both the traditional model and Carver’s Policy Governance Model.”
- “CEO is putting more effort into areas identified in policy because reporting is expected.”
- “…management knows their limits.”
- “…greater policy direction to the CEO.”
Enables proactive decision-making.
- “…because the board is continuously correcting and holding itself and the CEO accountable, it prevents minor issues from growing into major crises.”
- “…has allowed the board to focus on benefits to our members in terms of results versus actions.”
- “…maintains board’s focus on desired future outcomes for our owners.”
- “…allows us to focus on the ‘big picture’ and talk about why we’re here.”