Friday, April 28, 2017

Called to Serve: There Are No Committee Statues!

Note: This is No. 14 in a series of blogs featuring wisdom from the 91-page gem by Max De Pree, Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board.

Max De Pree: “Always keep in mind…that people, not structures, change the world.”

G.K. Chesterton famously said: “I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.”

In your search for the best governance structure or board model (should we be a policy-making board or a more hands-on board?), Max De Pree reminds us—it’s not about the structure. It’s about the people. And Chesterton adds (my words)—it’s not about the committees, it’s about leadership.

Dick Daniels says it’s not about the structure, it’s about the strategy. In his book, Leadership Briefs: Shaping Organizational Culture to Stretch Leadership Capacity (my 2015 “book-of-the-year”), he starts with four foundational building blocks: vision, mission, values…and one more we often minimize: leadership. Then in less than a page, he outlines the four sides of organizational framing: strategy, structure, staffing, and systems. 

He notes, “Staffing follows structure. A change in strategy leads to a change in structure which impacts staffing.”

So as you discern where your board should invest its precious time (in and out of board meetings), here are three questions:

1) Do we have the right strategy—and the right leader who can execute that strategy?
2) Are we hyper-focused on policy and/or structure to the actual detriment of achieving our mission?
3) Are we achieving Kingdom results that align with our mission?

And this reminder from A.W. Tozer, “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it. The motive is everything.”

BOARD EXERCISE: Dick Daniels writes: “Culture is evidenced in specific and measurable behaviors. People consistently perform according to what is measured.” Is our board monitoring CEO performance based on thoughtful Kingdom-oriented measurements?

To order from Amazon, click on the title for: Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board, by Max De Pree, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).

No comments:

Post a Comment