A New Charity Governance code Proposes Changes

New CodeNew and more detailed guidance included in the draft charity code has an enhanced focus on delivering organisational purpose and direction. Totally new is a separate principle that demonstrates a governance perspective on diversity. The consultation runs until Friday 3 February 2017. Those with an interest in charity governance are being asked to feed back their views on the code.

Proposed new features include recommendations that:

  • Boards will use the code as a tool for continuous improvement, rather than simply as an aide to meet minimum standards
  • Boards promote a culture of prudence with resources but also understand that being overcautious and risk averse is itself a risk.
  • Boards take account of wider voluntary sector in making sure that their charity operates responsibility and ethically
  • Boards regularly review the external environment and assess whether the charity is still relevant. The code recommends trustees consider partnership working, merger or dissolution if others are seen to be fulfilling similar purposes more effectively.

The code also proposes standards in a number of areas, including:

  • Increased expectation in relation to aspects of board composition, dynamics and behaviours with explicit good practice recommendations about board size, frequency of board performance reviews, and trustees’ terms of office.
  • A new emphasis on the chair’s role in promoting good governance
  • Emphasis on board diversity, supporting its leadership and decision-making with a recommendation that larger charities publish an annual statement of the steps they have taken to address the board’s diversity.
  • A presumption that charities should be open in their work, including a public register of trustees’ interests, unless there is good reason not to.
  • Recommendations that charities use their annual report to say how they apply the code and an explanation of any aspects which they do differently.

Rosie Chapman, chair of the code steering group, said:

“Everything the code does is about putting in place the processes and behaviours that mean charities will be better able to deliver their purposes. This version of the code starts from the principle that trustees understand their role and are interested in helping their organisations develop further”.

The draft code and consultation questions are available at www.governancecode.org

Lessons on Leadership – learning from the Ebola Crisis

Tesse AkpekiWhen the Ebola epidemic broke out in West Africa, a man tried to enter Nigeria for  treatment. He was held at the International airport by a leading doctor and her colleague. The gentleman was never allowed into Lagos. Their action saved millions of lives. In densely populated Lagos, millions of people could have died.

The act of the woman doctor and her colleague cost them their lives. Her son said his mother knew what the risks were and she was prepared to die for the greater good of mankind. If this is not authentic leadership what was is? This was about decisive action, swift controls, firmness, commitment to a vision (of saving lives), a clear path forward and cultural change. The Nigerian Government swung into action and eradicated Ebola from its shores.

Behaviours changed leading to a different outcome. The path of leadership can be lonely, but these heroes leave a legacy behind which outlives the years they walked on this earth.

Why Motivating People Doesn’t work…and considering what does

Tesse AkpekiWhen I watch reality TV programmes, like the Apprentice, Dragon’s Den (the Sharks Tent), the X-factor or Strictly Come Dancing, I often get the sense that they may be limited in authentically motivating the players involved to achieve their highest potential.   I get a different notion when I look at The Voice which appears to be based on a different model.   Reading the work of Susan Fowler premised on the notion of   “Why motivating people doesn’t work and what does” I picked up tips that can motivate and those which don’t. It is a bit frightening to see I have tried approaches which Susan says in her books can be a turnoff and actually achieve limited success. She mentions the following that can be used, albeit differently to achieve more impact: Continue reading