top menu

Tag Archives | governance

Harry Truman, "the buck stops here"

What Buck Stops Where?

A famous sign on Harry Truman’s desk declared, THE BUCK STOPS HERE. “The President—whoever he is,” Truman explained, “has to decide.” Truman’s example has inspired many leaders to accept appropriate responsibility. But a careless reading of his slogan can lead to the mistake of thinking that whoever can make a decision always should.

Continue Reading
meeting-clipart-free-sales-meetings-clipart-free-clip-art-images (1)

What Should a Governing Board Be Good At?

Many people dread board meetings, and for good reason. Boards spend too much time passively receiving information and transacting routine business. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some boards have interesting meetings. Clergy and lay board members feel their time and energy has been well used. How do they do it?

Continue Reading
keyboard-597007_640

Meeting and Voting Online

Glitchy video and scratchy sound still spoil a lot of online meetings, but the technology gets better all the time. Meeting “virtually” by audio and video can be convenient, but it raises some new issues and exacerbates some old ones, especially for governing boards. Boards that want to meet and vote online need to sharpen […]

Continue Reading
money-1090815_640

What Does it Mean to Be Non-profit?

I had always assumed that religion was a naturally nonprofit enterprise. But then, while touring Nashville with a fellow minister, I heard the story of a Presbyterian named Frist. “You know how Bill Frist’s family became billionaires?” my colleague asked.

Continue Reading
consensus from Flickr via Wylio

The Truth about Consensus

by Susan Beaumont “Let’s work by consensus!” is a familiar rallying cry. It feels egalitarian, generative and worthy. So we set aside Robert’s Rules of Order and begin a dialogue where all are encouraged to weigh in. We promise ourselves that we won’t move forward until we’ve reached an agreement that everyone likes. And then the […]

Continue Reading
chairman-of-the-board1

How Boards Raise Money for Ministry

by Dan Hotchkiss “Fundraising is the board’s main job.” I was stunned by this blunt advice from the executive director of a respected arts nonprofit. “I tell every new board member,” she continued, “give, get—or get out.” We expect each member to produce at least $5,000, either out of their own pockets or by asking […]

Continue Reading
by Susan Beaumont<br>

The church needs innovation, experimentation and risk taking.  The church has bureaucracy; inactivity in the name of good order and process. Senseless bureaucracy keeps us endlessly mired in reporting, approval seeking and communication. We end up with repetitive meetings, multiple levels of approval, over-reliance on procedure, and postponed decision making until everyone is informed and happy.  What would it take to free ourselves from all of this and just get things done?

Taming the Bureaucracy Beast

by Susan Beaumont The church needs innovation, experimentation and risk taking. The church has bureaucracy; inactivity in the name of good order and process. Senseless bureaucracy keeps us endlessly mired in reporting, approval seeking and communication. We end up with repetitive meetings, multiple levels of approval, over-reliance on procedure, and postponed decision making until everyone […]

Continue Reading
6907246421_8c573bbd56_n

Blame It on Polity

by Susan Beaumont Leaders utter a predictable battle cry when faced with possible organizational changes.  “Our polity won’t allow us to do that!” They may want to consider changes that will make their organization more nimble, flexible and efficient, but they suspect that polity (denominational governance systems) will stand in the way.

Continue Reading
11746719224_25675af5b1_m

Who Owns a Congregation?

by Dan HotchkissWhen I ask members of a governing board about the board’s job, someone (frequently a lawyer or a banker) often uses an obscure word that speaks rather deeply to the nature of the board’s role: “The board is a fiduciary.” And what might a fiduciary be? read more…

Continue Reading
PDF download

What to Say When Your Side Loses

by Dan Hotchkiss“The ayes have it.” Curt put down his hand and looked across the table at Priscilla, who had also voted “no.” Priscilla smiled, shrugged, and joined the chatter about how to ask the membership to ratify the board’s decision. Curt was not smiling. By five to two, the board had voted to tear […]

Continue Reading

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

%d bloggers like this: