case studies, governance

Streamlining governance processes for success

Every organisation has to find the best way to make its decision-making processes effective and transparent. For this public-sector organisation, with many strong interest groups, streamlining governance processes was critical for achieving strategic success.

What did we do?

This organisation had a large number of governance bodies that were more like consultative groups. Each one had its own methods of working, and scope creep had set in. Every group had to have its turn considering an issue before a decisions could be made. And no one was clear on which group should go first.

Issues here weren’t around the Nolan Principles or what might otherwise be thought of as good governance. Instead, the problem was the complex interaction between structure and culture. Status was a key issue for a lot of participants. From our experience, we knew the organisation needed an objective, wholesale review focused on how streamlining governance processes would improve getting things done. That review had to avoid distractions like who was “very sensible” and who “deserved” to be involved in decision-making.

This started with the existing terms of reference of each group. What were they supposed to do, how, and when? And what other groups thought they were doing the same thing?

Mapping the existing processes clarified where things were going wrong. Excessive governance is just as detrimental to organisational health as no governance! With that map in mind, we applied good governance principles to identify where conflicts and gaps existed and how they should be resolved. That meant making recommendations for tough choices and setting out clear reasons why those choices had to be made.

This post is part of our case-studies series. You can read more about what we’ve achieved for people and organisations in other case studies here.