Actually there is something
more important than either of these choices. It is the assessment of
the board and executive relationship. This might be part of the
board's self-evaluation but it is unlikely to be. This is a more
holistic view of the organizational performance. The board and the
executive encompass the whole organization. Their relationship is the
greatest contributor to the organization's success or achievement of Ends.
This assessment is not a
review of the Board-Executive Relationship Policies. It is instead a
systemic look at the relationship. How does it really work? Is
the executive acting on the freedom that the board has granted or is the
executive trying to guess what the board wishes rather than using the
actually policies. Is the board giving directions in subtle ways
without knowing it. Only an open discussion where trust is high can
these issues be investigated.
Much of the work by Chris
Argyris is helpful to create this type of discussion. This is a
different type of approach and one that Policy Governance allows because it
defines a more equal relationship between the board and the executive.
It works to reduce the defensive behaviors that we have learned any time we
confront a threatening situation. For a free PowerPoint presentation
on Collaboration, an approach based on Argyris's work go to the
Free Download page.