Example for illustrative purposes only.
3.1 The board will govern lawfully with an emphasis on (a) outward vision rather than an internal preoccupation, (b) encouragement of diversity in viewpoints, (c) strategic leadership more than administrative detail, (d) clear distinction of board and chief executive roles, (e) collective rather than individual decisions, (f) future rather than past or present, and (g) proactivity rather than reactivity.
3.1.1 The board will cultivate a sense of group responsibility. The board, not the staff, will be responsible for excellence in governing. The board will be the initiator of policy, not merely a reactor to staff initiatives. The board will not use the expertise of individual members to substitute for the judgment of the board, although the expertise of individual members may be used to enhance the understanding of the board as a body.
3.1.2 The board will direct, control and inspire the organization through the careful establishment of broad written policies reflecting the board’s values and perspectives. The board’s major policy focus will be on the intended long-term impacts outside the staff organization, not on the administrative or programmatic means of attaining those effects.
3.1.3 The board will enforce upon itself whatever discipline is needed to govern with excellence. Discipline will apply to matters such as attendance, preparation for meetings, policymaking principles, respect of roles, and ensuring the continuance of governance capability. Although the board can change its governance process policies at any time, it will observe those currently in force scrupulously.
3.1.4 Continual board development will include orientation of new board members in the board’s governance process and ongoing board discussion of process improvement.
3.1.5 The board will allow no officer, individual or committee of the board to hinder or be an excuse for not fulfilling group obligations.
3.1.6 The board will monitor and discuss the board’s process and performance at each meeting. Self-monitoring will include comparison of board activity and discipline to policies in the Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation categories.
Credit for developing examples of policies consistent with Policy Governance principles is due to John Carver and Miriam Carver, the co-Authoritative Sources for Policy Governance.
Refer to: Reinventing Your Board: A Step-By-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance. Co-authored with Miriam Carver. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997; 2nd edition, 2006.