Here at Healthcare Governance Review we applaud Dr John Carver’s Policy Governance model of board governance. Why? Simply because it’s conceptually coherent, makes sense and doesn’t confuse governance and management, as so much of what passes for governance in the NHS does. Policy Governance has its critics, but many of them, particularly those associated with the NHS, demonstrate through what they write that they know little or nothing about Policy Governance, and often they themselves are confused between the concepts and practices of governing and managing.
So. it’s always good to learn of people who both actually understand good governance and understand and appreciate the benefits of Carver’s approach.
Bruce Wardle, President and CEO of the Association Management Group (AMG) in the USA is one such person. Writing in an association blog, Bruce states that he has been observing the election, development, conduct, and decision-making processes of nonprofit governing boards for over 20 years.
According to Wardle, “The board is where all authority and accountability resides. And yet, so many boards do not understand governance and instead involve themselves at various levels in management and operations………I like Carver’s model because it doesn’t make room for board members to involve themselves in the operations of the organization. Instead, boards should be strategic thinkers with the long term health of the organization in mind.”
Of course, Carver’s model does require the board to hold management to account for the success and safety of the organisations. Thus the board needs to concern itself with relevant management information so that it can be assured. However, governance oversight should not be confused with operational involvement in managing the organisation.
Read Bruce Wardle’s full blog article Governance vs. Management: Policy Governance® model can help Directors get out of the weeds here.