Effective governance is achieved by taking a long term view – this can be quite challenging in the face of uncertainty about the future. The temptation can be to make choices based on limited perspectives rather than on the larger picture that would emerge if you seek more information and evidence.
There are four important steps you can take to achieve good governance:
- Ask the right questions. Be curious, inquisitive and hungry for all pieces of the puzzle.
- Strive to find the answers to those questions. Shift through what you are seeing and hearing. Is a clearer picture emerging? Your picture should harmonise with (a) your participation in the governance (b) The purpose, vision and mission of the organisation
- Act when the time is right – in the knowledge that you are acting on the best and most comprehensive information available. Do everything possible to make wise decisions.
- Stay alert to the environment in which you are operating. Situational awareness is key in a changing environment. This includes paying attention to emotions. Listening out for the emotional climate can help a governing board and the executive team get to the core of what can strengthen or weaken the organisation. Emotions are a very revealing indicator of the condition of the organisation.