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Tag: board capacity building

CEO Leadership on the Governance Front:  Reflections on an Emerging New Model

March 24, 2022 0 Comments

This is how the chief executive officer of a large, urban public transit system responded to my question about engaging his board in the annual budget preparation process in a one-on interview kicking off a board development project a decade ago.

“What’s the process for engaging my board members in shaping the annual budget document before taking action on it?  I’m not sure what you mean by that question.  As CEO, I’m accountable for getting a complete, carefully prepared budget to the board at least six weeks before the end of the fiscal year. My board’s accountable for doing a Read the rest

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5 Facts of Life in the Rapidly Evolving “Field” of Public Transit Governance

January 26, 2018 0 Comments

Actually, governance – the leadership work of governing boards in close collaboration with their chief executive officers – isn’t yet a full-fledged field. It’s getting there, but still can’t claim the set of universally accepted core principles and thoroughly tested best practices that you expect a fully developed field to have.  Instead, principles and practices are heatedly debated, and oodles of really dangerous advice – what I think of as “insidious foes” – can damage board performance and erode the board-CEO working relationship.  I call these dangerous bits of advice “insidious” because they can sound quite plausible – and might … Read the rest

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Boosting Your Board’s Self-Esteem

July 12, 2016 0 Comments

Sounds good to me!Hundreds of interviews with transportation board members over the years have taught me a valuable lesson.  Board members who take pride in their boards – and in their governing work – make more reliable partners for the CEO – the kind who’ll back you up when the you-know-what hits the proverbial fan, as it always eventually does.  And I’ve also learned that getting board members formally involved in managing their own governing performance is a sure-fire way to boost their self-esteem.

The December 2, 2015 post at this blog, “Strengthening Your Board’s Performance Management Is a Wise Investment,” tells how … 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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Don’t Get Caught In the Board Self-Assessment Trap

September 1, 2015 4 Comments

iStock_000020585606Large I received an email promo last week from a national nonprofit ballyhooing its board self-assessment “tool,” which reminded me of a true story that goes back around four years. The GM of a large urban transportation authority called me to get my feedback on a dilemma he found himself in. He’d retained one of those local nonprofit leadership centers that have sprung up around the country in recent years to help design and carry out a board capacity building initiative that he saw as badly needed. He’d sought help, he said, because he’d grown increasingly worried about the pretty obvious … Read the rest

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Turning the Governance Corner at BJCTA

March 20, 2015 0 Comments

In a special work session on March 17, the Board of Directors of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority in Alabama took a giant step forward on the governance front.  Six of the seven Board members present (there was one abstention) voted to adopt the Board’s first detailed “Governing Mission,” a high-level description of the Board’s major governing responsibilities (for example, “periodically updating BJCTA’s core values, vision for the future, and mission”). Even more important, they voted to establish a contemporary structure of three standing committees to assist the Board in carrying out its highly complex governing work:  Governance & External … Read the rest

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