Thursday, October 22, 2009

So many policies, so little time....

Third in a series of posts about the October 2009 UUA Board meeting

The monitoring process can seem daunting. My quick count of total policies in the UUA Governance manual was 20 "Ends" plus nearly 130 executive limitations. The high number of limitations is tied to our desire – two years ago – to not leave anything out and started with a compilation of our existing policies. A somewhat more educated Board is realizing the wisdom of establishing policy for only those items we think we as a board need to monitor, and will be reconsidering the need for some of our policies in that light.

And lest we think the Board is off the hook, we have nearly 70 policies on our own self-governance, not counting the multiplicity of alphabetical sub-points. As painful as that may seem, being explicit about these kinds of things is part of the power of Policy Governance: the Board also monitors itself. It forces us to keep asking ourselves questions about how well we are meeting our own criteria. According to The Policy Governance Field Guide, one of the top reasons for Boards "failing" at Policy Governance is the failure to monitor itself, along with a failure to adequately train new board members.

Next post: Linking with our Sources of Authority and Accountability

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