Creating an atmosphere in which staff, especially the CEO, and the board work together effectively for the good of the organization is not just necessary but possible.
William R. Mott in his book “The Board Game” offers what the calls the Governance Promise, and he characterizes it as a strategic way of thinking and approaching the relationship between the CEO and the governing board.
The Governance Promise should embrace the following characteristics:
- An environment in which respect and trust would be exhibited and adopted as the only way by which all business between leadership and the board would be carried out;
- A distinctive positive experience in which the organization thrives because of the partnership established;
- A welcoming spirit of cooperation in which the needs and priorities of the organization would always triumph over and individual’s agenda or self-interest;
- A resolve that even under circumstances in which the organization as under pressure to depart from its mission and goals, the relationship between staff and board would hold fast to working through whatever conflict they faced;
- A culture in which transitions such as those created when a new board chair is elected are seamless and come with little interruption to the CEO or the trustees; and,
- A commitment to be a model organization reaching for the highest standards of innovation, professionalism and excellence.