An organization’s governance can and should match best practices standards of board leadership. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to oversee the organization as a whole and safeguard the assets of the organization.
Understanding a Board’s fiduciary responsibility and realizing the full capability of the Board’s strength and value can require education and guidance. Boards can benefit from advice and training to understand their roles and responsibilities, how best to structure itself, and how to utilize “best practices” to maximize their organization’s potential.
Constructing and building a board that is engaged and aware of its own roles and responsibilities is to create and build an effective board. An effective Board, one that is not a rubber stamp, helps create an effective organization.
CORE Board Counseling Services: The CORE Approach
Any holistic approach to Board development and improvement must include studying the organization’s current practices and procedures, and a facilitated and analyzed Board self-assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. Through those activities, areas that need attention are identified, training can be given, and adjustments can be made such as adding needed skill sets to the Board and providing better governance.
CORE Corporate Consulting will analyze a Board’s existing effectiveness and provide advice, training, and services to your organization’s Board that will:
- Ensure your organization’s mission and purpose
- Ensure adequate resources
- Ensure effective practice management
- Ensure strong board leadership
- Serve the organization as a whole
- Enhance the public image of the organization
Core Corporate Consulting will do this by:
- Studying current, and recommending new or revised, documentation, policies, and procedures
- Leading a current Board Self-Assessment
- Providing training on Board responsibilities
- Benchmarking with other organizations
- Making recommendations on the best structure to meet your needs
- Creating roles and role descriptions
- Advising on staffing additional board seats
This process is intended to provoke thought and discussion, identify areas that need attention, and present and follow rules of good governance.
Policy and Governance Analysis
After agreeing on a scope of work, Core Corporate Consulting will review and analyze appropriate Board documents, policies and procedures, and provide recommendations in accordance with recognized best practice standards. CORE can help with specific policy improvement, developing needed policies, board composition and committee structure, and policy recommendations based on Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) lessons for private and non-profit companies.
Board Self Assessment
A facilitated Self Assessment of the organization’s Board may be conducted. Recommended by all governance experts, including the well known organization, BoardSource:
Board self-assessment provides board members with the opportunity to:
- Look internally in addition to assessing programs and chief executive performance
- Reflect on their individual and shared responsibilities
- Identify different perceptions and opinions among board members
- Point to questions that need attention
- Use the results as a springboard for board improvement
- Increase the level of board teamwork
- Clarify mutual board/staff expectations
- Demonstrate accountability as a serious organizational value
- Display credibility to funders and other external audiences.”
Upon completion of the Board Self Assessment, CORE will tabulate and evaluate the results. Core will highlight areas of consensus and areas where improvement may be needed.
In order to provide different levels of insight, CORE may also analyze the results in connection with the following evaluation tools:
- BoardSource Framework: “Nonprofit Governance” and “Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards”
- Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practices Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, Convened by Independent Sector, October 2007
- Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission on Board Evaluation: Improving Director Effectiveness (2005)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) as (unofficially, but recommended best practice) applied to non profits
CORE Corporate Consulting can also review and/or help create Board and Executive Staff role descriptions that will guide the Board members in the future.
Sometimes presented along with the results of the Board Self-Assessment, training on roles and responsibilities and best practices on Board membership data will be given, and recommendations and practical suggestions will be made for addressing any issues presented by the self-assessment.
Training sessions may cover:
- An overview of Director’s Duties, Board responsibilities
- Practical examples and lessons
- Practical considerations for effective governance—governance education
- Review/training on periodic assessment of corporate compliance program (Code of Conduct, Policies and Procedures, Compliance Infrastructure, Measures to Prevent and Respond to Violations)
- Conflict of Interest Policy and other ethical matters
- Setting Best Practice Standards
CORE considers training to be a wise investment!