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Today I sat in on a very informative session led by Dr. Phil Boyle, entitled “Governing from Good to Great!”  It was a discussion about crafting policy solutions in a truly collaborative board atmosphere, and I think I have some great ideas to take back to the group.  I’m very glad that I already entered into a collaborative attitude with at-large board member Mary Seawell, who coincidentally is Dr. Boyle’s brother-in law.

Dr. Boyle says that boards have one of three choices in how they conduct themselves:

  • Domination.  He says leadership should be based on inspiration, not domination.
  • Compromise.  He doesn’t see this as the way either, because compromise often means sacrificing one right or good in the hope of retaining others.
  • Integration.  He sees this as the most viable choice, because it asks three different questions.  (a) What good are we trying to get?  (b) What are the ways to do it?  (c) How do we achieve the goal with the least amount of harm?

According to Dr. Boyle, the hallmarks of satisfying governing relationships are:

  • Equally-distributed decision-making power
  • An inclusive membership
  • A truly democratic deliberation process

He says that high-performing boards show:

  • A mutual responsibility for the success of the board’s work
  • Participative leadership
  • A shared purpose
  • High communication standards
  • A future-forward mindset

Dr. Phil’s “board check-up”:

  • Are we clear about our purpose?
  • Do we agree on goals and priorities?
  • Are we satisfied with the level of communication between us and the district?
  • Is there a level of trust?
  • Do disagreements become personal in nature?
  • Is there less tolerance for those who disagree with us?
  • Have we stopped listening to certain members?
  • Do we ignore minority viewpoints?
  • Do we play to win or play to make someone lose?
  • Do we share responsibility for leading the board?

This is all fabulous advice, and hopefully, District 2, you will keep me on track.