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Coherent Governance®

What is Coherent Governance®?

The name is derived from a literal interpretation of the two key words:

Coherent: Sticking together; marked by an orderly or logical relation of parts that affords comprehension or recognition.

Govern: to have or exercise a determining influence.

Put the two concepts together, and you have a model for good governance that organizes separate but interrelated parts to allow boards to function as they were intended: as policy making bodies that lead and guide the organizations for which they are responsible, without allowing themselves to become immersed in the daily operational side for which their CEOs are responsible.

Coherent Governance® is influenced by our more than 75 combined years of experience with governing boards. Coherent Governance is, we believe, the most “user-friendly” system in the world for effective board governance, a model that promises complete clarity of roles and defined separation of responsibilities between the board and the CEO. It is a generally accepted universal standard for the way good boards perform, to be the effective governing bodies they are intended to be, without becoming slaves to the model itself. It is a tool to be used for good governance, rather than an end to itself.

CG is a policy-based model, comprised of four different but interrelated types of policies:

  1. Governance Culture. GC policies combine to establish an overall culture for the Board, including a definition of the Board’s job as well as a number of commitments and processes delineating how the Board will accomplish its work. The policies affect only the Board and its members and define the standards for board performance.
  1. Board/CEO Relations. BCR policies define the Board’s relationship with its CEO, and include the CEO’s job description, the extent of authority delegated to the CEO, and a finely crafted description of the CEO’s accountability.
  1. Operational Expectations. If the Board is to remove itself from preoccupation with the day-to-day operations of the organization, there must be in place a clear set of statements reflecting the Board’s values about a number of operational functions and areas, all intended to guide the CEO’s and the staff’s decisions about those functions. OE policies state both those conditions and actions the Board expects to happen, as well as those it prohibits. Thus these policies have two parts: one directing that certain conditions occur or exist, the other prohibiting certain actions and conditions. Together, they are the standards for operational performance.
  1. Results. The organization exists for a purpose: that purpose is to provide benefits for specified clients or customers. Results policies define those expected outcomes, and are intended to be the dominant focus of organizational performance.