Phase 1: Exploration

Typically the first step in any board’s consideration of a new governance model is to discover what it is all about. Some members may have read about it; others may have heard something about it; some may know of a board that is using it; others may know nothing at all.

The challenge: to get all members familiar with the principles, the benefits, knowledge of how life may change after moving into the use of a well-crafted governing model; and yes, the challenges of doing it.

We start with an examination of the factors that usually prevent boards from performing as well as members want them to, and progress to a full roll-out of the model and its benefits.

Participants will:

  • Explore the principles on which the model is based
  • Understand the types of policies that make up the model
  • Examine sample policies and monitoring documents from each of the policy types

At the end of the seminar, participants should understand the model thoroughly enough that they can make an informed decision about whether it is compatible with their vision for the board.

We use comprehensive handouts, including sample policies and other implementation documents. Ample time is allotted to explore participants’ questions. The seminar normally requires four hours, but it can be extended or condensed as your program needs dictate.

Phase 2: Implementation

Once a board has developed a reasonable understanding of Coherent Governance® and is committed to adopt it as an operating system, we facilitate a complete implementation project. Boards committed to adopt the model should be prepared to set aside five days in three separate sessions: a two-day session, followed by one-day session, and then another two-day session. The entire process can be accomplished in a calendar period of from two to three months, depending on board schedule issues.

There are three major phases in our implementation process, with an optional fourth phase:

Session 1: The first two days’ training consists of a brief review of the model, followed by drafting policies in all policy quadrants except Results policies. We refer to these other three quadrants as the “infrastructure” policies, since they establish for the organization the framework necessary to build a stronger focus on the organization’s Results.

Our work in these three quadrants is based on a set of template policies, which the board customizes to meet its specific needs and values. Our templates have been refined over the years as scores of boards of all types have done similar work. Our policy templates for public school boards feature a number of policies and policy provisions designed specifically for this unique market.

Session 2: The second one-day session is centered on developing Results policies. These policies are built from the ground up, starting with blank paper rather than templates. This is necessary because each organization truly is unique in terms of its definition of the benefits it commits to provide for the clients it serves. This can be mentally grueling work, but some of the most important and rewarding work the board and its CEO will do.

Session 3: The final two-day session is devoted to implementation training. This work, with both the board and senior administrative staff, includes the development of an annual work plan to include all board activities and to schedule Results discussions, board development, and monitoring of all policies. We also help the board review and redefine its board meeting agenda; provide training in policy monitoring processes; design a process for the CEO evaluation consistent with the governance model; and provide preliminary dialog training for stakeholder interface.

At the end of Session 3, the Board should have the foundation laid for successful adoption of its new governance system. It should be ready for launch its practice of this new and better way of governing.