BOARD CONSULTATIONS

While our Mastering the Board Game™, other introductory workshops, Board Performance System™ and GPS System™ protocols meet the needs of many clients, Charney Associates actively tailors services to meet the specific needs relevant to each clients’ organization’s lifecycle and/or governance improvement efforts.

Through our experiences serving hundreds of nonprofit, corporate and governmental boards (including self-perpetuating, elected and appointed boards), the following services have demonstrated great value to many clients.  While face-to-face sessions have the greatest impact for most of our consultations, several of the workshop options listed below are also available in Webinar format.

Board “Rehearsals”: 

Using the “Board Rehearsal” model, detailed in The Board Member’s Playbook  by renowned governance consultant/author Miriam Carver and Bill Charney, boards are led through “simulator”-type exercises. Utilizing a series of scenarios based upon actual or anticipated governance challenges, these exercises build the skills and confidence of board members, primarily by demonstrating how the use of existing policies identify logical and practical responses to nearly all governance challenges. (2 hours)

Governance Assessments

For boards wishing to take stock of their composition, structure, work focus, reputation, and/or efficiency in light of best practices that have evolved, Charney Associates tailors protocols to provide clients with a combination of internal and objective assessments of Board functions.  Assessments include review of all governance documentation, administration of a board survey instrument customized specifically for the assessment objectives, and, in most cases, personal interviews with Board members and senior management.   The deliverable – a Governance Assessment Report – provides actionable data, observations and recommendations for all aspects of Board work evaluated, ranging from basics (e.g. role of officers, board size and terms, Board/CEO relationship, etc.) to others that may be specifically targeted in the assessment (e.g. review of committee charters, executive compensation decision process, etc.).

Gaining Confident Control: Ensuring Objective, Criteria-Based CEO Evaluation

Incorporating Policy Governance principles as the basis of CEO performance evaluation strengthens the Board/CEO relationship, and ensures systematic and objective fulfillment of a Board’s oversight responsibilities. Through the preparation of brief, focused reports (thus consuming far less time for board oversight), boards are able to review policies and attain assurance that performance criteria have been met. These reports promote meaningful policy dialogue between board and staff by communicating how staff interprets the board’s policy language, greatly reducing the likelihood of surprises down the road. (2 hours)

The Legal/Fiduciary Responsibilities of Board Members

This workshop enlightens board members about their primary legal obligations (Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, etc.) and how to avoid organizational and personal liability through fulfillment of these responsibilities, use of the Business Judgment Rule, etc. (2 hours)

Merger Consultation

Whether in response to pressures to “do more with less,” or in times of strength when looking to maximize capacity and organizational impacts, strategically designed mergers can help nonprofits improve the quality and efficiency of existing services, increase funding, develop new skills and, when efficiencies and capacities are in place, successfully expand into new geographies/markets.    Charney Associates helps boards identify key issues for consideration, develop due-diligence and implementation task lists, and in some cases to facilitate joint board or task force meetings between the potentially merged parties.

New Board Member Orientation/Training

Boards committed to advanced governance find great benefit in providing professional training/orientation to new board members. This training, combined with the asset of having clearly articulated governing policies in place, enables new board members to be brought “up to speed” quickly, thus maximizing their contributions throughout their board tenure. (half to full-day)

Ownership Linkage Workshops

As trustees, board members serve on behalf of an identifiable public. Surprisingly, few boards engage in structured contact with the “owners” on whose behalf they serve (whether they be members, an electorate, a geographic community, specific demographics, etc.)   This workshop helps boards understand the importance of this demonstration of servant leadership and how to do it. Methods include identification of various linkage methodologies, formulation of goals for specific contacts (e.g. surveys, “town halls,” focus groups, guest presentations at Board meetings, etc.) and how to utilize the knowledge and wisdom gained in these sessions in the Board’s strategic planning work. (2 hours)

The Purpose and Vision Expander (PAVE)™ Workshop: A New Look at Mission

Far from the rhetorical, redundant rehashing of mission language which many board members may have experienced, this workshop provides a new look at an old topic with very exciting results.

The most substantive role and contribution a governing board can make to the strategic planning process is to establish clear strategic direction – articulating the “ends” results that define organizational success and mission fulfillment.  In this new and engaging look at why an integral process like strategic planning often results in documents that “collect dust,” Boards generate an outcomes-oriented strategic vision/direction from which budget and operational planning and performance assessment will be subsequently derived. Follow-up includes provision of Charney Associates “Ends-Based Planning Framework,” a tool elegant in its simplicity, through which CEO responsibility for development of an action plan that includes proposed metrics/key performance indicators for annual performance improvement in the areas targeted.  (6 hours)

Staff Training Workshops

Staff Training Workshops

Overall productivity is enhanced when staff understands the board’s role and the specific steps their board has taken to ensure staff empowerment and accountability. In these sessions, staff also learns how to support excellence in their board’s governance efforts. (half-day)

Achieving the Ends—Strategic Plan Framework Development

The Board has defined the Ends/strategic direction for your organization. Now you—the CEO and staff—need to achieve them. This management team session breaks down this large task into manageable and measurable components. At the end of the session, the CEO will have a clearly defined vision of success and a framework for developing an action plan for each Ends statement. (one-to-two days)

Customized Workshops

Our array of 60-90 minute governance workshops, commonly presented in conference settings, are also available (with customization, as appropriate) as part of Board education/training programs. Click here for examples of our highly rated workshop topics.