Practical strategic governance support for non-profit Boards, trustee Chairs and CEOs

An organisation’s success is significantly influenced by the quality and effectiveness of its board of directors. For the boards of charities and other nonprofits – typically made up of volunteer trustees, many of whom have limited governance experience – it’s a challenging issue. But it’s also a major concern to regulators, funders and the general public whose trust must be maintained.

Board effectiveness is about having the right composition, organisation, team dynamics and efficient functioning of a board – to enable the directors to fulfil all their fiduciary, strategic, leadership, compliance and oversight responsibilities. Strong governance demands strong board effectiveness.

Specialists in trustee Board support & development

Owen Morris specialises in helping not-for-profit, charity and similar boards to become and work as highly effective governing teams. We are not lawyers ourselves, so work with specialist legal partners for that side of governance. Our focus is on the broader front of strategic and working effectiveness of the board. If the board itself can’t lead or work well together, much else will suffer.

Our practical focus is based on the wide Board/trustee, executive and facilitation experience of our CEO, Mike Owen, in the non-profit sector. Using a mix of consulting, facilitative and coaching approaches, he offers advice and support in many governance areas, including:

Board organisation and make-up

For example, matching board structure to support strategy and business plans; definition of roles and powers of lead Board roles e.g. Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer; definition of terms of reference for board sub-committees; recruitment/selection for board roles & committees; induction programs for new board members.

Board systems & working methods

For example: planning and agenda management for board meetings; board chairing and facilitation skills; information reporting for the board by the CEO & board committees; performance scorecards; managing/monitoring strategy delivery; managing strategic projects; risk management methods.

Board dynamics & relationships

Advice, coaching and support with, for example: building trust and co-operation between Board members; defining ‘ways of working’ as a team; Chair’s relationships with Board members & CEO; handling conflict between Board members

Board evaluation & development

Consulting and asistance with, for example: facilitated review of whole board’s performance; appraisal of Chair & individual board members; board diversity and skills reviews; board skills-building; succession planning;

Wider governance reviews and advice, following leading codes and guidelines

Reviews beyond just the boardroom to cover wider, key elements of charity/non-profit governance (e.g. vision/values/culture, management systems, risk control, openness, EDI). Reviews include benchmarking against leading sector Codes and Principles (e.g: Charity Governance Code, Nolan Principles) plus our own wider organisational models for achieving high-performance.

Confidential 1:1 support for Chairs and CEOs

Mike also provides 1:1, confidential leadership and governance advice and support to CEOs and Chairs – particularly useful for those who are newly appointed or promoted. He’ll bring a fresh, external perspective and be a neutral, objective sounding board and adviser to help discuss ideas, assess issues, and draft plans.

Mike can readily call upon the Owen Morris extended network of specialist associates on any strategic or governance project. From charity lawyers to experts in personnel testing/assessment.

Get in touch!

We are specialists in charity and not-for-profit trustee Board support and development.

So, to boost the effectiveness of your organisation’s top-leaders, contact Owen Morris today.