Monday, April 13, 2015

There’s an Elephant in the Room—But Let’s Just Keep the Peace!

“There’s an Elephant in the Room—But Let’s Just Keep the Peace!” is the title of the “In-the-Trenches Board Interviews” segment in the new resource:

ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 3:

Addressing Board and Organizational Conflicts of Interest—Avoiding Trouble, Trouble, Trouble With Related–Party Transactions.

(Click here for more information.)

This 16-minute informative and entertaining DVD and the Board Member Read-and-Engage Viewing Guide addresses three critical questions about conflicts of interest and related-party transactions. The 20-page viewing guide (12 per toolbox) includes a board self-assessment tool for each question—a perfect resource for your next board meeting.

The DVD highlights how four board members address conflicts of interest and related-party transactions:

“Any surprises today? Not really. Well…not a surprise since Patricia’s pesky question was somewhat predictable. (That’s Patricia for you!) I mean…she absolutely messed up the really sweet spirit of our meeting by asking about the Brown Company contract. That wasn’t cool. No one knows that I’m an investor in that company—so I really couldn’t say anything.”

“Well…we finally, finally had an executive session (without any staff members in the room). It was long overdue for someone to ask about the Brown Company contract. I mean…Joe Brown’s wife is on the board—and they ARE generous—but it appears we have never received competitive bids. I had to have a hallway conversation with the CFO—just to get to the bottom of this.”

“I’d say one of our board’s best practices is keeping the peace. We are very mature about this. The Lord doesn’t want us to major on the minors. After all, boards can’t obsess on dotting every ‘i’ and crossing every ‘t.’ That just annoys board members and often causes hurt feelings. Policies should never trump relationships. That’s just not biblical!”

“Well…it’s my understanding that all board members must sign a ‘Conflicts of Interest’ statement every January. I’ve never signed it! Do I have any conflicts of interest? I don’t think so…but…how would you define a ‘Conflict of Interest?’”

Too often in the boardroom, conflicts of interest are either not addressed or relegated to the back burner due to more pressing concerns. Neither approach will enhance your ministry’s reputation. That’s why ECFA urges you to view this video at your next board meeting—and elevate this subject in order to elevate trust and integrity with your givers and the public. (Click here for more information.)

Is it worth the investment of time? John Wesley said,
“I judge all things only by the price 
they shall gain in eternity.”

QUESTION: When is the last time you’ve had an open and transparent discussion about board and staff conflicts of interest—and the perception of conflicts of interest? 

No comments:

Post a Comment