Who is in Charge of Investments?

Who controls investing The RelationshipModel.com

Question:  In our organization our CEO has total control of the investing of all our endowment funds.  Personally, I do not think this is appropriate.  I believe that the board should not delegate the responsibility, because it cannot delegate the accountability.  And just because the CEO is experienced in investing, the board is not excused from the accountability.  What is your opinion of this?

Answer: you are certainly correct in saying that the board is accountable for the investment function of the organization. However, a board of directors of an organization of any size must of necessity delegate most of its functions to someone.  That someone is usually the CEO.

The investment function, however, is unique in my opinion.  I do not believe that the investment of endowment funds should be delegated to the CEO even if the CEO is experienced in investing.  It is too much responsibility to delegate to one person.  Read more

The Relationship Model in Congregations

The Relationship Model

Question: If I finally get the co-pastor I need, how would the services that your consulting firm offers be of use and help to us?   I have surfed your website a little bit, but have not done so in depth.   A few words about that would be helpful.

Answer: Yes, the Relationship Model would benefit you immensely, not just the working relationship between you and your co-pastor but between both of you and the council and congregation.  It would also benefit you in strategic planning by focusing your energy on beneficiaries (elderly, single parents, divorced couples, youth, etc) and services (worship, counselling, discipleship, music, etc.)  No congregation can be all things to all people.  The people themselves should be expressing their needs and identifying their beneficiaries.  Usually congregations lump these two sides of the “grid” together without separating them first to define them (beneficiaries and services that is).  Then we also tend to confuse programs (the freedom of lay leaders and pastors to decide) and services (the strategic expression of need that is for the congregation to decide).  For example, worship is a strategic (what) service, but a Friday evening contemporary service for weekend campers is a tactical (how) program to deliver that service.  The beneficiary is families who go camping. Read more

How Can We Build Trust?

statue build trust

Question:  There doesn’t seem to be much trust in our organization right now.  Our CEO says that we should be more trusting of each other, but it sounds more like a demand than a request.  What is going wrong?  How can we build trust in our organization?  We’re paralyzed without it.  People are miserable and not much is getting done.

Answer:  Trust is a misunderstood value among Christians.  It sounds to me like your CEO, in your view, is demanding trust instead of creating it.  If you are right, you have identified the first part of the solution of broken trust for your organization.

I have often said to people who are struggling with trust issues “Forgiveness is free, but trust is very expensive.”  Trust certainly isn’t a value that we can turn on like a faucet just because someone with more authority is demanding it.  That’s because trust is the result of our behavior first and the cause of more good behavior second, not the other way around.

Read more

Boards Can Learn From Mistakes

wrong way

Question:  Our Board of Directors made what I consider to be a very poor decision.  It led to the resignation of our Board Chair, although even the Board acknowledged that she did nothing wrong.  It’s just that the whole thing was handled poorly, particularly how the Board treated her.  I have challenged the Board about this, but they don’t want to talk about it anymore.  How would you handle a situation like this?

Answer:  I don’t have anywhere near enough information about your situation to speak to your specific issue, but what you are describing is all too common for boards.  Perhaps some general comments about boards taking responsibility for their actions will help you just the same.

Sometimes boards follow a good process but still make a poor decision.  Sometimes boards follow a poor process and still make the right decision.

Sometimes boards follow a poor process and make a poor decision.

Read more