November 7, 2010

Corporate governance – whether you are BP, the Smithsonian, or the local library – means: the process whereby a group of people (e.g., the board) ensure the health and effectiveness of the corporation. Corporate governance only happens when the board is together.

No single individual – including the board chair – does governance. See the job description of the board. That’s what you do at board meetings. See how the job description plays out by examining the sample due diligence outline.

How can we play more like Wayne Gretsky, hockey star. He said: “Skate where the puck is going, not where it’s been.” Actually, that’s a good idea when reviewing your financial reports, too. An accountant colleague of mine once said: “Why do boards spend so much time reviewing the financial report, which is already finished. Instead, they should pay attention to the trends and implications of that past report for the future.”

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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