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Richard Chait Harvard University California Association of Independent Schools 1/27/07. © 2007. Not to be reproduced or distributed without the express permission of the author. Effective boards…. Offer a strategic asset and comparative advantage.

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richard chait harvard university california association of independent schools 1 27 07
Richard Chait

Harvard University

California Association of Independent Schools

1/27/07

© 2007. Not to be reproduced or distributed without the express permission of the author.

effective boards
Effective boards…
  • Offer a strategic asset and comparative advantage.
  • Add value/derive value from meaningful participation in consequential discussions and decisions.
  • Macrogovern more than micromanage.
  • Model behaviors trustees expect school to exhibit.
  • Harness individual talent to collective effort.
  • Provide leadership as well as stewardship.
  • Ensure intergenerational equity.

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

what s the problem
What’s the Problem?

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

core concepts
Core Concepts
  • Emphasize modes, not tasks, of governance.
  • Think and work in three different modes.
  • All three serve important purposes.
  • Value added increases as board:
    • Becomes more proficient in more modes;
    • Does more work in third mode;
    • Chooses appropriate mode(s) of work.

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

governance as leadership
Governance as Leadership

Strategic: Type II

Generative: Type III

Fiduciary: Type I

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

type i fiduciary mode
Type I: Fiduciary Mode
  • Board’s central purpose:
      • Stewardship of tangible assets
  • Board’s principal role:
      • Sentinel
  • Board’s core work:
      • Ensure efficient & appropriate use of resources
      • Ensure legal compliance & fiscal accountability
      • Ensure accountability
      • Oversee operations
      • Select & evaluate CEO

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

type ii strategic mode
Type II: Strategic Mode
  • Board’s central purpose:
      • Strategic partnership with senior management
  • Board’s principal role:
      • Strategist
  • Board’s core work:
      • Scan internal and external environment
      • Resolve priorities
      • Review and modify strategic plan
      • Monitor performance

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

what is generative thinking
What Is Generative Thinking?
  • Makes sense of circumstances.
  • Invites prior questions and alternative hypotheses.
  • Places perceived problems/opportunities in new light.
  • Finds and frames new problems and opportunities.
  • Concerns values, beliefs, and assumptions.
  • Spawns policy, strategy, and decisions.

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

slide9

Where Does Generative Thinking Occur? THE GENERATIVE CURVE

Sense-making Problem-framing

Opportunity to influence generative work declines as issues are framed and converted into strategies, plans, and tactics.

Strategies, Policies

Opportunity for Generative Work

Plans, Tactics, Execution

Time

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

the generative curve
The Generative Curve

Understand assumptions of new generation

Generative

Strategic

Fiduciary

Align rewards with priorities

Opportunity for Generative Work

Modify pay plan & hours

Time

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

the generative curve1
The Generative Curve

Reconcile social purpose and business model

Generative

Strategic

Fiduciary

Compete on amenities

Opportunity for Generative Work

Approve new fitness center

Time

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

generative curve s
Generative Curves

Opportunity for Generative Work

Time

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

the generative dilemma
The Generative Dilemma

Generative Curve

Trustee involvement lowest where generative opportunity greatest; trustee involvement increases as generative opportunity decreases.

Opportunity for Generative Work

Typical Board Involvement Curve

Time

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

slide15

Strategic

Values

Cost

Mission

SWOT

Space

Beliefs

Markets

Legality

Image

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

separate perspectives
Separate Perspectives

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

comparative perspectives
Comparative Perspectives

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

integrated perspectives
Integrated Perspectives

GenerativeStrategicFiduciary

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

state of readiness
State of Readiness
  • Wear “tri-focals.”
  • Be on the lookout for generative landmarks.
  • Situate propositions on the generative curve.
  • Do business “a la mode.”

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

look upstream look downstream
Look upstream. Look downstream.

Generative Strategic Fiduciary

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

look backward look forward
Look backward.Look forward.

Generative Strategic Fiduciary

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

looking backward
Looking Backward
  • What best explains recent successes or setbacks?
  • If we are what we do, then who are we?
  • How have we reconciled tradition and innovation?
  • What’s been this organization’s theory of change?
  • Where has there been resistance and why?
  • What’s the storyline that drives the product line?
  • How are we smarter as board & organization than a year ago?

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

catalyze analyze
Catalyze. Analyze.

Generative Strategic Fiduciary

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

catalytic questions
Catalytic Questions
  • What should we worry about?
  • What keeps Head awake at night?
  • What keeps trustees awake at night?
  • Whom would we serve in what ways if money did not matter?
  • What do we do peers would not and why? Vice versa?
  • What’s good for mission, bad for business? Vice versa?
  • What would we do differently as a for-profit?
  • On what list, yet to be devised, would we want to rank #1?
  • What will be this board’s legacy?

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

organize to discern organize to decide
Organize to discern. Organize to decide.

Generative Strategic Fiduciary

Generative Strategic Fiduciary

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

rules of engagement
Macro-governance

Partial control of complete perspective

First guess upstream

Fusion of thinking

Micro-management

Complete control of partial perspective

Second guess downstream

Division of territory

Rules of Engagement

NEW

OLD

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP

the payoff
The Payoff
  • Empowers the board.
  • Engages the collective mind.
  • Exploits board’s assets.
  • Enriches board’s work.
  • Enhances board’s performance.

Governance as

Leadership

GOVERNANCE AS LEADERSHIP