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From The CriticsReviewer: Eleanor V. Howell, PhD, RN (Creighton University School of Nursing)
Description: Based on results of a five-year Kellogg Foundation action research intervention, this book provides an overview of the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of board membership and symptoms of underperforming boards. A prominent feature is the assessment of board performance in six competency areas — strategic, contextual, analytical, political, educational, and interpersonal competencies. The authors include ways for boards to cultivate these skills and approaches for integrating continuous improvement activities as a routine part of governance functions.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to describe how nonprofit boards can strengthen their governance and leadership effectiveness.
Audience: This book was written for board members and executive leadership teams of nonprofit healthcare organizations.
Features: Examples of individual and group assessment tools and methods are provided, including the Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire based on the six competencies. Case studies are used to both illustrate imbalances among competencies and to further board analysis of its own capabilities and areas for improvement.
Assessment: In addition to helping socialize and integrate new board members into the governance process, the content of this practical, well-referenced book provides an excellent resource for any leadership group that desires to work together more cohesively, effectively, and strategically. Sensitive issues, such as the role of the board in relation to that of the chief executive, are introduced and provide an opportunity for boards and management teams to examine potential differences in opinions or perspectives on these topics. Participation in the assessment activities should be viewed as an investment in the leadership of the organization. By following the approaches set forth in this text, boards will be able to strive for the best use of members' time and energy, approach issues with a focus on the long term, move to higher levels of competence and actualize a leadership development process.