Friday, November 20, 2009

Bold new step

I read an article entitled "The New Future of Governance" in the November/December 2009 Board Source’s "Board Member" publication. I was intrigued and left with a desire for action after reading this article which encourages generative thinking from "Governance as Leadership" (another BoardSource publication). Basically, the article talks about the importance of doing business differently. A related phrase I’ve heard in other circles and at conferences is "bold new step."

It talks about a greater need for revitalizing the role of boards and for establishing a new framework for board leadership called "transformative governance" which means engaging in breakthrough thinking that embraces emerging trends and developments. Essentially, it suggests that board members need to expand their understanding of their board role and how their organizations enact their missions in this new environment.

To begin to understand the new environment, the article says we must first understand that no single board is able to deal with the complexity and scale of the problems now faced by the nonprofit sector and that leading effectively in this type of environment requires the kind of ability and skill sets demonstrated by younger generations who are proficient in social networking. It goes on to say that innovative mergers and partnership are likely to become the rule rather than the exception, requiring cross-sector and multifaceted communication skills from their boards -- a shared vision of a more coordinated, effective, and sustainable future (not individual organizational missions). To get there, the article talks about the importance of more diversity and inclusiveness at the board table.

The article ends with "The future is going to require massive changes in how our nonprofits operate, resulting in more merges, dissolutions, and the formation of new types of entities. All will need to be part of a larger whole with greater capacity to resolve our mounting societal problems, regardless of the consequences for individual organizations."

I couldn't agree with this article more...and on multiple levels! The article states "answers will be found not in the words of experts but in wide-ranging dialogue and debate."

How could we begin conversations around these tough issues in our communities?

Posted by Kathy Grochow, NRS
St. Cloud

No comments: