Managing Change

Managing Change RelationshipModel.com concepts of management change management

In today’s fast-moving world the concepts of management and “change management” are synonymous terms.  Adapting to an ever-changing environment in which we attempt to achieve our mission is the predominant concern of all successful organizations.

Managing change effectively requires managers to be able to manage the six core processes that allow an organization to manage change.  This series of articles seeks to introduce the six core processes that allow us to manage change and then to discuss each on in more detail.

Understanding the values that will make each of these processes successful and fulfilling is as important as understanding the processes themselves.  The three primary value systems that we observe in management are authoritarian, collaborative and laissez-faire.  These form a continuum of values.  Where managers will anchor themselves on this continuum of values will determine their success. The articles will demonstrate the effect of each value system on the outcome of each process. Read more

Board Vote Process

Board Vote Process RelationshipModel.com Board Government

Think back to that discussion that went so badly in a board meeting.  Afterwards, you mentioned to someone that you didn’t agree with the board vote.  Your fellow board member said that she didn’t either.  She told you that she voted in favor of the motion because there was so much pressure.  You agreed with her that it would have taken forever to overcome the passionate arguments in favor of the action.  You both just gave up.  In talking to others you begin to realize that the majority of the directors disagreed, but the motion passed anyway.  Can you imagine that?

Why is it that we have all experienced decisions being made by a group that do not reflect the thoughts and decisions of the individuals within a group.  Here are some common reasons why this happens.  Can you identify with any of them? Read more

Meeting Attendance

Board Meeting Attendance RelationshipModel.com board governance

Question:  I chair a board that meets monthly.  The problem we are having is that the attendance at board meetings is irregular.  Because of their inconsistent meeting attendance some of our directors don’t have full awareness of what decisions we have made and why we have made them.  What can I do to get board members to see the importance of attending all meetings?

Answer:  I believe the solution to this common problem lies in the expectations that are expressed to board members when they agree to allow their names to stand for election.  In many cases prospective board members don’t really appreciate the weight of responsibility that board members share.  I have even heard nominees being assured that there isn’t much to being a board member.  There seems to be a fear among some boards that they won’t get people to agree to stand for election if the job is too big.  It’s a mistake to suggest that board members can take their responsibility lightly. Read more

What is Governance?

What is Governance?  What is a governing board?  Board Government Consulting RelationshipModel.com
What is Governance?

Question: I keep reading about managing boards and governing boards, but honestly I’m not sure that I could explain the difference. What is governance?  What is a governing board?

Answer: A governing board is a board that controls the organization by policies instead of a steady stream of management decisions. Governance involves designing board structure and process, directing strategic priorities, delegating authority and responsibility and monitoring and measuring results.

A managing board of a restaurant would spend most of the time in the kitchen stirring the stew and discussing ways to make it taste even better. A governing board would hire a chef to do the cooking. The board itself would spend most of its time talking to the customers about their needs and wants and some time planning the future of their restaurant and some time giving direction about their clientele and their needs (but not management advice) to the chef. They would improve their service by checking with the customers, not by tasting the stew themselves. Read more

Leadership Qualities / Competencies of Leaders

Leadership Qualities Competencies RelationshipModel.com Board Leader

No person makes a perfect leader. There are always ways to improve.

Although the responsibilities of those in leadership vary, there are a number of leadership qualities that are common to all of them. In this series of six articles, we shall look at the leadership qualities that are needed in a Chief Executive Officer, Board Chair and Board Member, Senior Manager and Pastor.

Leadership qualities, or competencies, are aspects of a person that make him or her successful at what he/she does. They are a complex combination of underlying characteristics, being influenced by that person’s values and beliefs, motives, attitudes, personality traits, self-image and attitudes as well as skills and knowledge.

We can determine a person’s competencies by observing their behavior. The more effectively and consistently they display the behaviors associated with the respective competencies, the better their leadership performance. A person’s competencies therefore, are a window through which we can glimpse the person’s capability.

We shall look at these six leadership qualities/competencies: Read more

Testimony Governance Model: Walnut Grove Lutheran Church

Board Governance Model Testimony RelationshipModel.com

In November 2011, a Transforming for Missions consultation team identified governance issues as the greatest challenge that our congregation faces as we seek to more fully engage with the mission of Jesus Christ to seek and to save the lost.  This finding was consistent with the experience of our leadership group because we recognized that governance was an issue and, over the preceding couple of years, we had tried modifying our existing governance structure to try to resolve it, but without success. After the consultation report was adopted by the congregation, a Governance Committee was struck and charged with the task of developing a new governance model.  After looking at various models and noting their strengths, weaknesses and applicability to our congregation, the Governance Committee chose the Relationship Model as the best governance model for our congregation.  With coaching and resources from Les Stahlke, the Governance Committee developed drafts of a Governance Manual for our leadership group and a revised Constitution and Bylaws for the congregation.  In the spring of 2013, our leadership group adopted the Relationship Model as our governance model and the congregation approved the revised Constitution and Bylaws.  Our new Governing Board has read Church Governance Matters by Les Stahlke and we are presently transitioning to the new model. Read more

Leadership Qualities – Part 6 Self-Awareness

Self Awareness in Leadership Qualities RelationshipModel.com

This is our final article in the series of leadership qualities (competencies).  We shall look at Self-awareness in Leadership.

Self- awareness – accurately assesses personal strengths and weaknesses and manages them effectively.

Increasing self-awareness is one of the characteristics of increasing maturity. The better a person knows him/herself, the more accurately he/she can assess areas that require personal development and the better he/she can assess his/her capabilities and inner resources (values, faith, character traits, personality, gifts, motives, emotional responses).

Self-awareness is like a window onto one’s strengths and weaknesses. There are some people who have good awareness of their strengths but find it too difficult to acknowledge their weaknesses. That ability requires self-esteem. (see last week’s leadership article) Read more