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Tag: transit board development

Taking a Holistic Approach to Strengthening Your Board’s Culture

January 3, 2017 4 Comments

“Nothing’s really changed, and that’s terribly disappointing.”  This is what the CEO told me in a recent coaching session about the results of a daylong board-CEO “team building” retreat that’d been held around three months earlier.  The session had been scheduled, the CEO explained, in response to the perception of a majority of board members and the CEO that the board’s culture had become increasingly dysfunctional, characterized by uncivil debate in public board meetings, including some board members actually challenging their colleagues’ motives, and by board members snipping at the CEO and members of her executive team, etc.

This CEO … Read the rest

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Don’t Fall Into the Policy Governance Trap

December 1, 2016 0 Comments

jumping spiderA year or so ago, I got a call from a transit CEO desperate for help.  The year before, he explained, his board had adopted a “policy governance manual,” spelling out the roles and responsibilities of the board and CEO and making clear the limits on both board and executive authority.  For example, the manual specified that the CEO could sign consulting services contracts up to a maximum of $25,000, above which board approval was required, that the CEO was responsible for preparing the annual operating plan and budget, while the board was responsible for reviewing and adopting the plan … Read the rest

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Another Insidious Foe To Avoid: Believing Board Committees Invite Micro-management.

June 17, 2016 0 Comments

 

jumping spiderOne of the erroneous governance assumptions that I described in the radio interview I did for the Michigan Business Network a few days ago is the notion that board standing committees are an invitation for transportation board members to dabble in executive and administrative matters – what is popularly known as “micro-management.”  You’ll recall from a couple of my recent posts at this blog that an erroneous assumption about an aspect of the public transportation governing business earns the designation “Insidious Foe” when two things are true.  First, the assumption is dangerous.  Taking it seriously and acting on it … Read the rest

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“What makes women such effective board members?”

March 2, 2016 0 Comments
Karen Philbrick

Karen Philbrick

“What makes women such effective board members?” That question came up over a glass of wine at the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) reception held at the Transportation Research Board conference this past January. Apparently, boards comprised of men and women have a superior track record compared to those run entirely by men. Several recent studies have come to this conclusion, including a 2012 Credit Suisse study of 2,360 organizations over a six-year span. It maintained that companies with women on their boards “delivered higher average returns on equity.” Why would this be?

We wondered about this while enjoying … Read the rest

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Strengthening Your Board’s Performance Management Is a Wise Investment

December 2, 2015 1 Comment
Alex Clifford Santa Cruz METRO

Alex Clifford
Santa Cruz METRO

In early October CEO Alex Clifford and his Board at Santa Cruz Metro spent a half day together discussing developments in the rapidly changing field of public transportation governance and brainstorming practical ways to transform an already good board into an even higher-impact governing body. One of the six breakout groups that generated content during the session (three groups meeting concurrently in each of two rounds) brainstormed targets and standards that Board members should hold themselves accountable for meeting, for example: attending Board meetings; being well-prepared for meetings; actively engaging in discussion. Their plan is … Read the rest

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