Policy Governance boards hiring a new CEO must get a clear understanding from the outset about the candidates’ familiarity and experience with the Policy Governance system. Hiring a CEO who has provided the board with false assurances on this question could jeopardize not only all of the hard work and investment the board has put into this system, but the operational capacity of the organization as well.
If a board member were to ask a CEO candidate, “How familiar are you with the Policy Governance system?,” the CEO candidate’s answer would usually be either:
Answer #1: “I understand it very well,” or,
Answer #2: “I don’t know much (or anything) about it,” or, “I am not sure how much I know about it.”
If the CEO candidate provides Answer #2, the follow-up question is, “Are you committed to learning about what Policy Governance is, why, and how we use it?” Given that, to date, very few CEO candidates actually have real experience working within the Policy Governance system, the board should consider a willingness to learn as a favourable response.
If, however, the CEO replies that they understand Policy Governance very well, the board must check for evidence of that knowledge and/or experience.
Questions about Policy Governance Training/Theory
Checking on a candidate’s understanding of Policy Governance theory is quite simple. Questions could include:
- Did they attend the Policy Governance Academy?
- Did they attend the two-day Policy Governance workshop delivered by John and Miriam Carver? (Note: both the Policy Governance Academy and the two-day Carver workshops are no longer available).
- Do they have the PGP certification via Govern from Impact (formerly the International Policy Governance Association)?
- Have they taken another in-person workshop or online course delivered by a qualified Policy Governance Academy attendee or PGP certificate holder? What was the length of the course(s)? Did the course/workshop include knowledge testing?
- Which Policy Governance books have they read?
- How many Policy Governance conferences or face-to-face advanced Policy Governance forums have they attended? Which one(s), and when?
- Would they be willing to take a 33-question multiple choice quiz on Policy Governance? (The PG360 Quiz)
- Which Policy Governance principle(s) do they feel are most important for the CEO to apply well? Why?
- If someone were to say, “Policy Governance gives too much power to the CEO,” would they agree or disagree with that statement, and why?
- What would they say are the top three advantages for boards and organizations using Policy Governance?
Questions about PG Experience/Implementation
Questions and scenarios to use to gauge a candidate’s practical experience using Policy Governance could include:
- Have you previously worked within an organization that used Policy Governance? Which one(s)?
- (If “Yes” to Question 1) What was your role, and what did you learn about PG principles in action?
- Have you ever written or contributed to a monitoring report for submission to a PG board? If “yes,” for which policy(ies), and what was that process like?
- Have you ever worked with a qualified PG coach or facilitator? Who was it, and how would you describe that experience?
- If you ever had a challenging time working with a Policy Governance board, what would you do?
- Here is an example of one of our Executive Limitations policies. Just brainstorming here, what might be elements that would go into your interpretation of this policy?
- Here is an example of a monitoring report. What do you notice? Do the interpretations look reasonable to you? Why or why not?
- If at any time one or more board members were calling you and repeatedly making requests that would take your time away from other work, what would you do?
- If you ever witnessed one or more board members behaving unethically in some way, what would you do?
- Are there any PG principles that you would want to apply at the staff/operational level as well? Which ones, and how?
To ensure your board and staff understand Policy Governance principles, take the Board EXCELerator, our online board education program, or contact us for more information about workshops and coaching.