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Tag: public transit governance

Access Services’ Andre Colaiace:  Transformational Change Leader Extraordinaire

November 6, 2020 0 Comments

Andre Colaiace, Executive Director of Access Services in Los Angeles County, CA, and a member of this blog’s CEO Advisory Committee, is a prime example of a new breed of public/nonprofit chief executive officers I’m encountering with increasing frequency around the country:  the Transformational Change Leader.  In a nutshell, the Transformational Change Leader spearheads one or more significant innovation initiatives that transform the organization she or he leads, making a substantial, lasting difference, in terms of organizational impact and, often, culture.  In Andre’s case,  his chosen innovation initiative was the transformation of Access Services’ governance function, primarily by updating the … Read the rest

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Don’t Let Silo Committees Trap You and Your Board Members

May 17, 2019 0 Comments

I spent a couple of hours with Board and Executive Team members of the Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT, headquartered in Savannah, Georgia) in a special work session earlier this week.  We were reviewing the functional descriptions of four new Board standing committees being recommended by the Board’s “High-Impact Governing Steering Committee,” following up on a daylong retreat in February:  Strategic and Operational Planning; Performance Monitoring/Audit; External/Stakeholder Relations; and Governance.

At the February retreat we’d discussed the benefits of well-designed committees, including:

  • Dividing the highly complex and demanding work of governing into “chewable chunks,” making more in-depth deliberations possible and
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Peers Presenting to Peers: a Powerful Change Tool

June 23, 2017 1 Comment

It definitely wasn’t your traditional reporting-back session on June 6 in Cleveland. Board President George Dixon and Trustees Valarie McCall and Georgine Welo of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority were seated at a table facing other GCRTA Trustees, CEO Joseph Calabrese, and his top executives.  A couple of months earlier, GCRTA Trustees had spent a day in a retreat setting, familiarizing themselves with developments in the rapidly changing field of public transit governance, identifying governance issues, and exploring possible steps to strengthen the Board’s governing capacity.  The facilitator of the earlier retreat had prepared a follow-up action report, which … Read the rest

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Learning – and Owning – By Doing: the MTA and STARS Experience

November 2, 2016 0 Comments

Ed Benning has bitten off a major chief executive leadership chunk:  not only serving as full-time General Manager/CEO of the Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) in Flint, Michigan, but also currently providing interim CEO leadership at STARS in nearby Saginaw.  Recognizing that both his boards would benefit from an opportunity to update their governing knowledge and skills, Ed and his two board chairs invited the two authorities’ board members and executive managers to participate in a half-day “high-impact governing work session.”  And being a really board-savvy CEO, Ed made sure his two board chairs were involved in putting together the detailed … Read the rest

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Beware of Those Insidious Foes That Can Do You In

April 8, 2016 0 Comments

jumping spider

I’m working on a new book about “insidious foes” of a close, positive, and productive board-CEO working relationship.  The foes are erroneous assumptions that can do serious damage to the  relationship.  A foe is “insidious” if it isn’t obviously dangerous.  In fact, many “insidious foes” are especially dangerous because they’re nuggets of conventional wisdom that appear to make good sense and don’t seem at all threatening at first blush.

An insidious foe that came immediately to mind when I was brainstorming my initial list was the erroneous assumption that organizational performance essentially determines the health of the board-CEO working relationship.  … Read the rest

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Strengthening Your Board’s Performance Management Is a Wise Investment

December 2, 2015 1 Comment

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 to follow-through on the brainstorming … Read the rest

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