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Featured Question - January 5, 2004

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Q:

Our board is seeking a consultant to help us with implementing Policy Governance, do you have any suggestions?  Should we only have a graduate of the Policy Governance Academy?

A:

A Policy Governance Academy graduate might by helpful but isn't required.  There are three factors that you should consider when selecting a consultant to help with implementing Policy Governance.  You need a consultant with a minimal level of skill in each of the three, not just one. 
 
  1. First, does the consultant understand and have experience with Policy Governance.  The Academy is one way of receiving an acceptable level of knowledge but it is certainly not the only way.  In some ways the Academy only assures that there is a minimal level of knowledge and experience. 
     
  2. Second, does the consultant have experience in group processes.  Boards are groups and the better the consultant's skill in group process the better the results will be. 
     
  3. Third, does the consultant have experience in training and education.  Effective Policy Governance consultation requires more than just a knowledge about Policy Governance but an ability to impart that knowledge to others in an effective way. 

A caution about Academy graduates:  in some ways Policy Governance has taken on the precepts of a religion, with its priests being Academy graduates.  Board members are often approached as either being one of the faithful or one of the sinners, with little room in between.  There are better approaches than what the Academy seems to promote. (See A kinder, gentler approach to Policy Governance training)

It is not enough to have gone through the Academy, and it actually may work against helping a board implement Policy Governance.  Going through the Academy does not assure that someone is presenting pure Policy Governance.  Partly, because there is no clear definition of what pure Policy Governance is.  The point isn't to exclude Policy Governance Academy graduates but rather to include all those that meet the three criteria.  (For possible consultants, visit the Web Directory and search for Training/Consultants)

   

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