This video provides a brief answer to the question, “What is Policy Governance?” In a nutshell, Policy Governance is a set of ten principles which, when used in their entirety, operate like a system that any board of directors can use to translate the wishes of moral or legal owners into organizational performance. Policy Governance was designed by Dr. John Carver, and its principles are being used by boards and governing bodies around the world.
What is Policy Governance? I’m so glad you asked. Policy Governance is a set of ten interlocking principles, that when used together, operate like a system, giving boards of directors, or any governing body, the ability to translate the wishes of legal or moral owners into organizational performance. Wow, doesn’t that sound cool!
There are all kinds of benefits to using Policy Governance: on the intellectual side, you have things like accountability, transparency, performance, focus, effectiveness, efficiency, all that great stuff. But what really really attracts me to Policy Governance is what you get on the human side. Board members, for instance, actually feel like they can make a difference, that board meetings are meaningful, and their contribution to the organization is actually paying off. On the staff side — whether it’s for the CEO or the Executive Director or any of the staff members — they feel like wow, we have pre-stated criteria on what to achieve and parameters inside which to achieve it. Now we just have to do it — use our creative skills and talents and ingenuity to actually make it happen. None of this running to the board asking for permission for every little thing. And then of course on the ownership side, you have legal or moral owners who have invested in an organization and are actually seeing those investments pay off. The organization is actually making a difference in the world. Wow, what a concept!
See also: What is Governance?