Friday, May 17, 2013

What’s a Sector Moment? Board Conflict, Governance Overhauls, and Big Social Questions

As we take our seats around the conference room table for our bi-weekly staff meeting, discussion immediately revolves around the treats in the center of the table (we can’t help it, we’re an office full of foodies!). Once we’ve dissected the latest gluten-free, dairy-free, no sugar added baked good, or the plumpest and ripest fruit you’ve ever seen, or whatever other exotic concoction has been invented this week, we get down to business.

About three items into the agenda is where arguably the most important discussion of the day takes place; the part most of us ‘save up’ for all week, jotting down experiences on our notepads and saving links in a designated email folder. Mission Moments and Sector Moments are times for mutual sharing, making our mission come to life through real, authentic experiences.

As you might guess, Mission Moments are examples of those experiences in our daily work that directly relate back to our mission – for example, a great donor phone conversation or constructive feedback from a nonprofit going through the Accountability Wizard. Setting a designated time and format for sharing these moments serves as a way for all of us to connect to the value of our work, and to learn from each other and from our constituents. 

Sector Moments, on the other hand, focus externally. These are examples of how our mission relates to the world – local stories about accountability and transparency, national nonprofit news, or trends and perspectives related to mobilizing informed donors and accountable nonprofits for the greater good. 

Today, we want to take our mutual sharing and learning to the next level by highlighting some of the latest sector moments that have sparked enlightening discussion around our conference room table: 

Harvard Business Review recently ran an article by Solange Charas, a consultant who went back to school to study the intricacies of board effectiveness. Her research revealed that boardroom discussion and conflict plays a powerful role in the level of organizational governance and board member attrition rates. Interestingly, casting a wide net and recruiting directors who didn’t previously know each other also contributed to high board effectiveness. 

N.Y. to Consider Nonprofit Governance Overhaul

On Tuesday, New York lawmakers proposed two bills to streamline the process of forming a nonprofit and improve board oversight of executive compensation and contracts. “Between the two sets of bills, there’s a better chance of having nonprofit reform than ever before,” said Sean Delany, a spokesman for the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York and former assistant attorney general overseeing charities. “It’s a big deal.” Check out the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article for more details.

Catherina Pharoah, for The Guardian, takes a close look at the UK’s giving landscape and whether or not philanthropy is really addressing pressing societal issues and challenges. Considering that the spending decisions of wealthy donors are private and entirely up to them, can a more just, inclusive, and innovative world be achieved through individual concerns and random acts of generosity? Pharoah poses many thought-provoking questions around the increasingly linked roles of philanthropy and business in addressing both local and global issues.

Sharing Sector Moments and Mission Moments allows us to take a step back from our busy days and look at our work from a broader perspective. What have you read lately? Does your organization set a designated time for sharing?

P.S. Don’t forget to register for our Annual Forum coming up on June 11! You don’t want to miss this opportunity to experience what it means to Dare to Fail on the Road to Discovery with best-selling author and keynote speaker, Peter Sims.

1 comment:

Nonprofit Governance said...

It is indeed essential to step back and look at our work from a broader perspective every now and then. This enables us to share and see what we have accomplished and what else we need to learn/do from other people's point of view especially in the nonprofit industry. Thank you for the share!

Nonprofit Governance