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Beware of the Passive-Reactive Board

July 31, 2018 0 Comments

Over the years, a basically passive-reactive approach to governing – a model of sorts – has been passed down and has predominated – and probably still predominates – in both the for-profit and public/nonprofit sectors.   This approach – or model – sees the governing board as basically a responsive body, rather than as a generator or initiator of actions or products.  You can picture the passive-reactive board sitting at the pinnacle of the organization, waiting for staff-initiated things – policy recommendations, documents such as plans and budgets that call for adoption, briefings that require no action, etc. – to arrive, … Read the rest

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VIA’s Jeff Arndt: Connecter-in-Chief Extraordinaire

July 26, 2018 0 Comments

There’s wide agreement in the for-profit sector that CEOs should be actively engaged in the external arena – building their enterprises’ image and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.  In fact, many for-profit CEOs have testified that they routinely spend more than 50 percent of their time dealing with external matters, which is one of the most important reasons why the CEO-COO (chief operating officer) structure is so widely employed.  If you’re committed to being your organization’s Ms. Outside, then it makes good sense to put a Mr. Inside in place to ensure that the shop runs smoothly in your absence.… Read the rest

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Turning Your Board Into a Cohesive Governing Team: Part 2

July 17, 2018 0 Comments

As I noted in last week’s post at this blog, turning transit boards into really cohesive governing teams is no piece of cake, primarily because the great majority of transit board members are appointed by elected officials.  In practice this means that many if not most transit board members feel as – if not more – accountable to their appointing authorities than to their board colleagues.  Now matter how stiff the challenge, however, board-savvy transit CEOs know that they’ve got no choice but to help their boards become more effective governing teams for two main reasons.  First, teamwork is one … Read the rest

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Turning Your Board Into a Cohesive Governing Team: Part 1

July 10, 2018 0 Comments

Teamwork in the abstract is neither here nor there for public transit boards. The only serious reason for developing your board’s teamwork is to help it function as a more effective governing body that gets its governing work done more effectively and efficiently. The acid test of an effective team is its productivity in accomplishing its assigned tasks. Productive teams are also generally characterized by a high level of cooperation and coordination in getting their work done, harmonious relations among team members, the absence of debilitating conflicts, and the capacity to withstand considerable stress and strain without falling apart. You … Read the rest

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Get Your Board-CEO Retreat Right

July 5, 2018 0 Comments

Retreats have become a popular vehicle for involving transit board members, their CEOs, and executives in accomplishing high-impact governing work that could not be accomplished – at least not as well – in regular board business meetings.  Updating a vision statement and identifying and discussing strategic and operational issues certainly fall in this category.  The return on your authority’s investment of time, energy, and money in a retreat can be quite powerful, in terms not only of substantive outcomes such as an updated vision statement, but also process spin-offs such as esprit de corps, satisfaction, ownership of – and commitment … Read the rest

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CEO Dave Genova on Getting Stakeholder Engagement Right at RTD-Denver

June 29, 2018 0 Comments

You’ll recall that in earlier posts at this blog we’ve defined “stakeholders” as individuals, groups, and organizations it makes sense to build and maintain relationships with because something important is at stake.  For example, the office of the mayor and board of county commissioners in your region are always primo stakeholders whose political – and often financial – support are tremendously important to your authority.  Over my 30 years of work with public transit CEOs and their boards I’ve come across more than one case of poorly planned and managed stakeholder engagement.  This is really unfortunate since the support of … Read the rest

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Cementing the Partnership With Your Board

June 19, 2018 0 Comments

This post has been adapted from an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2018 edition of the Association Forum’s “CEOnly Newsletter.”  It is reprinted here with the Forum’s permission.

Satisfied Owners Make Better Partners

Thirty years of working with public and nonprofit boards of all shapes and sizes and their chief executives  have taught me that your long-term success and professional longevity as CEO of your transit authority have more to do with maintaining a healthy partnership with your board than any other factor.  I’ve also learned that even if your transit authority is thriving in terms of operational … Read the rest

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CEO Brad Miller’s Podcast on Tweaking PSTA’s Business Model

June 8, 2018 0 Comments

In a rapidly changing environment, one of the preeminent keys to making sure your authority thrives and grows is for you, as your authority’s CEO, to take the lead in updating its business model, wearing what I call the “Innovator-in-Chief” hat.  Therefore, I’m pleased to share the fourth podcast in this blog’s ongoing series on public transit business model updating, featuring Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, who describes mobility on demand initiatives launched on his watch.  After listening to Brad’s highly informative podcast, you might want to take a look at one or more of … Read the rest

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A Critical CEO Challenge: Updating Your Authority’s Business Model

May 21, 2018 0 Comments

According to APTA Chair Nat Ford and CEO Paul Skoutelas in the podcast featured in the March 14 post at this blog (https://boardsavvytransitceo.com/aptas-dynamic-leadership-duo-takes-mobility-management-issue/), local transportation authorities must make a stark choice in this time of dramatic, continuous change, in terms not only of communication and transportation technologies, but also of changing customer needs and preferences.  They can be aggressively opportunistic:   embracing and capitalizing on the opportunities that a tumultuous environment offers by playing the preeminent leadership role in their communities in partnership and network building that brings together various transportation modes (ride sourcing; car sharing; bike sharing; train … Read the rest

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Turning Board Evaluation of the CEO Into a More Powerful Relationship Building Tool

May 11, 2018 0 Comments

“But won’t I be inviting my board members into my business and leaving myself open to the kind of micro-management that can really disrupt my work?” This is what I heard from the GM of a mid-size transportation authority during our recent discussion over lunch of the process her board might use to assess her work. We’d agreed that a well-designed annual GM evaluation process was one of the most important vehicles for keeping her working relationship with the board healthy. And we’d also agreed that an objective evaluation process should heavily focus on the authority’s overall performance in terms … Read the rest

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