9 principles for governing stewardship
The demands of running a nonprofit can obscure the need to be a part of the community, to fulfill mission.
In his book “Stewardship” Peter Block argues that stewardship is a necessary part of the management mind-set and that it offers a set of design principles on which a range of management practices can be molded.
Block offers the following nine principles for governing on the basis of stewardship:
- Maximize the choice for those closest to the work. Core workers become involved in the creating of policies and practices affecting their work;
- Reintegrate the managing and the doing of the work. Management becomes a set of tasks and activities, not a job title;
- Let measurements and controls serve the core workers. Have the measures designed by those to be measured. Be realistic about predictability;
- Yield on consistency across groups, and support local solutions. Embrace consistency only when the law, regulations or external demands require it;
- Service is everything. People are accountable to those they serve;
- Deglorify management as a job title and demystify the staff functions. Management and staff groups exist primarily to contribute to people doing the core work;
- End secrecy. Support the idea of full disclosure;
- Demand a promise. There is a price to be paid by those given more choice over their work, and that price is a promise; and,
- Redistribute wealth. The reward systems need to tie everyone’s fortunes to the success of the team, unit and larger organization.