What is the Role of the Board in a Lean Transformation?
I've worked with Boards for some time now. "What's our role?" is their most common question.
Board Policy documents use the word 'governance' – but what’s that mean?"
It's a big deal – role confusion between the Board and senior management can weaken focus & alignment.
Once Purpose becomes fuzzy, we're in a heap of trouble.
In my experience, governance entails answering questions like:
- Has the Leadership team defined Purpose (True North)?
- Does Purpose align with the needs of the community & other stakeholders?
- Has the Leadership team developed a planning & execution system to deliver Purpose?
- Are there clear metrics with which we can assess progress & Leadership performance?
- Is the organization on track to achieve Purpose?
- Does the organization have a sound financial plan to support its activities?
Governance differs, therefore, from management which entails things like:
- Defining Purpose
- Aligning Purpose with the needs of stakeholders
- Developing a planning & execution system, and a plan to deliver Purpose
- Developing clear metrics and tracking progress towards Purpose
- Developing a sound financial plan to support its activities
- Developing a management system that sustains good results
Management must build a good management system and manage within it.
The Board must ensure that they are managing effectively. Gemba walks with Board members are a good way of helping them grow into their essential role.