Governance Structure and Operations Reviews
All organizations should periodically “take a step back” to assess the board and committee organizational structure, operating policies, the effectiveness of the board in undertaking its fiduciary responsibilities, etc. Westman & Associates Consulting can:
- Provide the framework for such a review.
- Serve as an independent vehicle to gather impressions from individual board members, staff, and other stakeholders.
- Utilize our knowledge of governance best practices to recommend changes.
Board Orientation and Continuing Development
As a result of facilitating numerous board self-assessment surveys, Mr. Westman has typically found board members are most dissatisfied with the orientation they receive as new directors, as well as their continuing development as a board member. Westman & Associates has developed a comprehensive set of orientation and continuing development materials that an association can tailor to its use. In addition, Mr. Westman is available by webinar or in-person to deliver presentations to your board addressing a wide variety of governance-related topics – helping them to better undertake their fiduciary duties.
Governance Leaders Performance Assessment
Building on an overall governance structure and operations review, this review focuses more specifically on how individual officers, board members, committee chairs, etc. are performing in their roles – incorporating self-assessment, perhaps peer feedback, and consulting team observations. This typically results in the identification of strengths, improvement opportunities, and specific training and development activities to enhance effectiveness.
Governance Decision-Making Model Development
The “governance versus operations” debate arises periodically, if not continually, in most organizations. The right course of action differs from organization to organization and may change over time within the same organization. The Westman & Associates Consulting approach is not to impose a governance model. Rather, we raise the relevant governance and operations issues and topics utilizing a structured approach. We then help clients arrive at their own conclusions as pertains to each topic and document the results for their ongoing use. Such a model can serve to improve board/staff relations and position all stakeholders to best serve the organization.
Risk Management Model Development
Risk management and mitigation is becoming a hotter topic all the time, as we’ve seen during recent hotly-contested political races, with cyber security breaches occurring on a regular basis. Risk management is no longer just about having an annual audit and up-to-date insurance policies. Many association board members and senior staff assume risks are under control – relying excessively on the Finance Committee or external auditor to assure all is well, as opposed to digging a little deeper. As a result, it’s rare to find a given board member or staff leader who can list out more than a few possible risks faced by their organization, whereas a thorough review of an association’s operating environment can easily result in identification of 30, 40, or more risk factors. Even when risks are identified, many associations don’t take time to prioritize the ones requiring active management and abatement initiatives. Westman & Associates, using its proprietary risk assessment model and process, can help a board identify and prioritize risks, as well as develop risk abatement strategies to mitigate the most concerning risks faced by the organization.
New CEO Onboarding
The relationship between a board and its CEO is critical to the success of any organization. In the non-profit world, new CEOs frequently have no prior experience running a similar organization. Even if they have served previously in such a capacity, they lack “day 1” familiarity with the board and its leaders as pertains to role definition, responsibility for making various decisions, expectations for CEO/board communications, CEO performance management, protocols for interacting with key vendors, coalition partners, governmental entities, etc. Westman & Associates Consulting has designed a structured, comprehensive, facilitated approach to assuring key CEO/board relationship issues are addressed upfront – setting the stage for a healthy and productive long-term working relationship.
CEO Performance Management Plan Design
The board is responsible for managing the performance of its CEO. We assist boards in developing a balanced scorecard approach to performance planning, including the establishment of performance metrics and objectives, as well as performance competencies that should apply to the CEO. We also can help design the process utilized to assess performance and the specific form(s) that will be completed.
CEO Compensation Program Design
Building on the design of the CEO performance management plan, we can help clients enhance ties between the performance management process and CEO compensation package. This includes identifying an appropriate compensation strategy relative to the portion of compensation that should be at risk and subsequently design specific base salary, incentive compensation, and executive benefit plans.
Intermediate Sanctions Compliance
There is a wealth of generic survey data available from other sources pertaining to board officer and CEO compensation. Westman & Associates Consulting develops highly customized compensation analyses that rely exclusively on Form 990 data. We work with clients to select appropriate peer organizations to benchmark, and then utilize a proprietary reporting mechanism to age Form 990 data to a common date and report results.