This book provides clear strategies and processes for boards faced with the challenge to make their governing model, either Coherent GovernanceÒ or Policy GovernanceÒ, work in real life. The Art of Governing Coherently is a practical guide loaded with down-to-earth solutions, all based on processes successfully in use today by boards across the United States and internationally. While many of the examples offered here come from the world of public school boards and non-profit boards, the implementation processes are equally applicable to boards of all types. The challenge of governing and leading a complex organization is difficult enough without struggling to develop and use clear, logical and accountable processes. The Art of Governing Coherently does exactly what the title promises.
The authors draw from their combined 70-plus years of experience in working with public and non-profit boards, including work with hundreds of boards using both Coherent GovernanceÒ and Policy GovernanceÒ, as they present their insight about how to use the models effectively. Their common-sense implementation strategies for helping real boards deal with real issues, and doing it through faithful utilization of their new governing tools, makes this a continuing reference source for boards as they translate theory into practice.
Linda J. Dawson has more than 35 years of experience as a skilled author, consultant, coach and facilitator with a career in teaching and administration, agency public relations, and association leadership. As an executive with the Colorado Association of School Boards, she developed cutting-edge governance training programs, which were widely regarded at the national level. The ensuing demand for her services in other states led to her decision to co-found AGI Aspen Group International LLC in 1993.
Dr. Randy Quinn served for 30 years as executive director of two state school boards associations, in Alabama for 19 years and in Colorado for 11 years, before making a full-time commitment to AGI in 1999. He has written more than 400 articles for publication in various journals, and has served on the boards of directors of numerous state and national organizations. He co-founded AGI Aspen Group International in 1993 with Linda to extend his work throughout the United States and internationally.
Chapter 1: A Word About Governing Models
Chapter 2: Rolling Out Your Model
Chapter 3: Monitoring Governance Culture and Board-CEO Relations Policies
Chapter 4: Monitoring Operational Expectations Policies
Chapter 5: Monitoring Results Policies
Chapter 6: Evaluating the CEO in this New Governing Environment
Chapter 7: Engagement
Chapter 8: The Board’s Annual Work Plan
Chapter 9: The Board’s New Meeting Agenda
Chapter 10: Change: It’s a Leadership Conundrum
Chapter 11: Now What?
Appendix A: Operational Expectation Monitoring Report
Appendix B: Operational Expectation Monitoring Report
Appendix C: Results Monitoring Report (Step 1)
Appendix D: Results Monitoring Report (Step 2)
Appendix E: Engagement through Key Communicators
Appendix F: Engagement Plan to further Define Results
Appendix G: Board Listening Campaign
Appendix H: Board Meeting Agenda: School Board
Appendix I: Quarterly Corporate Board Meeting Agenda
About the Authors
The authors take the important and perplexing topic of how to govern well and lay out a road map to help your board achieve good governance. The clarity of thought that developed this model is apparent throughout this book. This is where theory is made practicable.
Dawson and Quinn have created a system which gives impetus and focus to excellent leadership and governance. Their practical wisdom – phronesis - is invaluable to CEOs and Boards alike.
The Art of Governing Coherently provides a clear pathway to effective and accountable board governance. Linda and Randy nailed it.
This book aims to help boards stay aligned to the true meaning of governance and holds them accountable for leadership and change management. Boards can become distracted by all the shiny aspects of operations, but this book confirms why staying true to coherent governance lends itself to better results.
I couldn’t be more clear of my authority, boundaries, limitations and expectations, while our Board has never felt so informed and empowered to improve student learning. This has truly provided us a roadmap to success.
Practical, simple and direct advice is coupled with concise formats that successfully support the Board and CEO in this quality governance model.
If you are on a school board and things are not going well. Or … something is not right and you don’t know enough to know what is wrong. Or … you just want to do it the right way. Check out this book and then call them!
I am not a fan of mandates in public education, but Dawson and Quinn’s The Art of Governing Coherently should be required reading for all current and aspiring school board members and district superintendents. Every school board and superintendent team want to be effective – to achieve great results for students. They confront the reality that the work is complex and fraught with barriers and distractions. Dawson and Quinn provide a clear vision along with a rational pathway to develop the governance and leadership roles required for organizational improvement and achieving meaningful outcomes for students. It is a compelling call and useful guide for Boards and Superintendents to successfully do what matters.