In 2016, a leading think-tank connected to the boards of directors and C-suites of 275 leading American businesses via an intensive survey. The top identified concerns were health insurance, cybercrime, culture, privacy, information technology, and crisis response processes. It is critical to build a stellar board or advisory board for your organization to allow you to navigate this terrain.
I have a different take on what the prevailing best minds and think-tanks on this topic are espousing, and these observations explain why we have seen and continue to see organizational implosions. Consider these strategic imperatives for the architecture of your stellar board of excellence and governance.
1. eForce versus cForce explains how and why individuals and positions act, behave, and think the way they do. This directly sets the tone at the top and drives how risk is managed, ensures compliance and standards of performance are maintained and met, lays a baseline of conduct for operational ethics and codes of compliance, drives appropriate policies and procedures, establishes on-going educational initiatives and platforms necessary to serve, and illuminates all levels, degrees and approaches to monitoring.
The first application is to recognize that every position within a board or organization is either (never both) an entrepreneurial (eForce) or a control (cForce) position. Create a general organizational diagram. Now determine which positions, in their truest form, are eForce or cForce positions.
The second application of the model is to recognize that every person within a board or organization is either (never both) an eForce or a cForce person. Now, within that general organizational diagram, determine for each position whether the person in that position right now, in their truest form, is an eForce or a cForce person.
Now, recognize the trauma of having, for example, an ePerson in a cPosition, or vice versa. If you evaluate almost every position implosion within organizations, or major organizational implosions, you have a clue as to how and why it happened! Accountability ensues when you have the right persona in the right position/force, or a control system in place to hold personnel accountable to performance requirements.
2. C-suite connectivity is very simple, yet amazingly missed more often than not from early-entry businesses to established mature organizations. There should always be a direct or dotted line influence from each C-suite position/force to a specific member of your Board. There is a greater level of connectivity, leveraged intellectual assets, and networks if you have a like-like in each C-suite person and their mirror on your board. This also allows for a strength multiplier for understanding, coordination, conduit to accountability for each C-suite position, and better governance in any large organization. This does not change the architecture for a small or start-up enterprise as much as it does an established, mature, large organization.
As the business owner, CEO, or key-stakeholder, having these lines of like-connectivity affords you greater intelligence, accountability and assurance of peak performance from each individual in your senior inner circle.
3. There are 5 Core Factors that the key stakeholders at or above the C-suite must design and own for the inception, survival, sustainment, and thriving capacity of an individual or organization:
- Strategic Intent/Strategy is derived from your values, vision, drives, mission statements and, thus, direction of your organization. What your organization is today and what you want it to be tomorrow is crafted and communicated here. This drives, and can be used to benchmark, every action, decision, and initiative, and drives the culture, climate, and environment, that is, what one is on a personal level or what the organization is and can become.
- Operational Systems are processes, protocols, compliance, monitoring, metrics, systems, software-hardware deliverables, and procedures, which are borne out of Strategic Intent/Strategy and must allow for effective execution forward from here.
- Tactical Behaviors exhibited by established standards of ethics, expected or tolerated performance, and fiduciary responsibilities by each person come from and support the first two core-factors. This is the detailed work product, and its frequency of evaluation is dictated here.
- Discipline to execute at or above expected standards of performance is a major differentiator among those who are achievers and those who fail. The ability to build buy-in, ownership, passion, and commitment to embrace and seamlessly achieve the output, on a regular reliable basis, is a human capital and technology endeavor.
- Accountability, whether driven by self, peers, organization, system, performance standards, customer or any other means by which the human capital is accepting, for enhanced and continuous improvement opportunities 24/7, must be self-generating at this level.
These are a few of the essential drivers for building a stellar board or advisory board for your organization. It also requires an objective ability to assess the human capital abilities now and in the future to thrive (as discussed via the Player Capability Index™ Model in THE MANAGERIAL-LEADERSHIP BIBLE, Revised Edition II) and that every person within your organization must understand and have buy-in to your GPS/Mission Statements. If a person can’t add value to your organization at whatever level they participate, you have a cancer that your Board Members must hold you accountable for today!
Jeff Magee (Ph.D., Certified Management Consultant, Certified Board Executive, Certified Professional Direct Marketer, Certified Speaking Professional), the “Thought Leader’s Leader,” accelerates organizations forward through his Leadership Academy of Excellence™ Series, keynotes and performance-based coaching. Jeff is the Group Publisher/Editor & Chief of PERFORMANCE360 Magazine™ (www.ProfessionalPerformanceMagazine.com), Editor of Performance Execution and Performance Driven Selling™ Blogs, former nationally syndicated Radio Talk Show Host (Catalyst Business Radio), as well as published author of twenty-three books including best sellers The Managerial-Leadership Bible, Your Trajectory Code, Performance Execution and The Sales Training Handbook. He is also a columnist and highly sought-after motivational-leadership speaker. The recipient of the United States Junior Chamber’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award and the United States National Guard’s Total Victory Team Medal for civilian contribution to the Armed Services. DrJeffSpeaks@aol.com
This article is reprinted from Issue #10 of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today so that you won’t miss other actionable articles that will help you run your nonprofit organization with less pain and more gain!
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