L&T Blog

Best Practices in Board Governance and Strategic Planning

November 15, 2018

The Lovitt & Touche Learning Academy welcomed Penelope Cagney, MA, CFRE, Principal of The Cagney Company, and Certified BoardSource Governance Consultant, and Lynda Williams, Senior Consultant, to discuss two areas of importance to nonprofit organizations: board governance and strategic planning.

Cagney is the editor of "Global Best Practices for CSO, NGO and Other Nonprofit Boards" (2018 Wiley/BoardSource), and she discussed 5 best practices for the workplace, which include: transparency, diversity, engagement, reflectiveness and generative thinking.

One of the topics discussed during the seminar was the issue of engagement during board meetings. To increase engagement, Cagney gave these tips:

  • Have a 30 minute socialization period before meetings.
  • Switch up seating arrangements.
  • Have small group discussions.
  • Know what people want to talk about.

Lynda Williams discussed an effective strategic planning methodology for nonprofits, large or small called Hoshin Kanri. Hoshin Kanri originated in Japan, and it translates to "shining metal pointing direction", a literal compass. The methodology can serve as a 7 step compass for non-profit organizations.

Hoshin Kanri creates resource optimization while also providing your employees meaningful work and the realization of the importance of their role. For smaller scale companies, Hoshin Kanri’s collaborative principles can be a benefit as well, by creating hands on work.

The 7 steps of Hoshin Kanri Planning are:

  1. Establishing the Vision and Assessing the Current State of Your Organization: This should represent company values, and be specific to what your organizations would like to accomplish.
  2. Developing Breakthrough Objectives: This can include 3 to 5 year goals that employees strive for on a day to day basis.
  3. Defining Annual Objectives: There are two ways to approach this: the numerical approach or creating steps to approach breakthrough
  4. Cascading Goals Throughout the Organization: Cascading annual objectives takes the plan that you have established through goals, and pushes it to people to do the work and make the difference in the company
  5. Executing Annual Objectives: The action taken to reach the goals for the year.
  6. Monthly Reviews: Focus on areas that do not meet the requirements so that the next month can be improved.
  7. Annual Review: At the end of the year it is crucial to see the progress that was made, if the target was met, and how the plan could improve.

Thank you to Penelope and Lynda for discussing Board Governance and Strategic Planning. For more information on these topics, please contact your Lovitt & Touche representative.