Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Governance Model - What It Is And Why We Use It

By Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President

Worshipful Master's Gavel
Photo by Mr. Bill via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.

Over the past several years, the AANP has been hard at work building its capacity, including solidifying our budget, building a talented and dedicated staff, expanding member services, increasing corporate sponsorships, improving and expanding Affiliate relationships, and solidifying our presence at the national and state level. A key force that has allowed this strategic growth is the adoption of a Governance approach to the Board/staff relationship. Unlike the “working” Boards most of us are familiar with, the Governance model empowers the Board to strategically envision, guide and steer the organization’s growth and direction while entrusting the Executive Director and staff to manage the day-to-day business and affairs of the organization. Allow me to further acquaint you with the work of the AANP Board and its relationship to the staff.

As a governance board, the AANP Board’s ultimate responsibility is to define, enunciate and enforce our organizational mission in alignment with the interests of our members. To do this, the AANP Board must be a visionary body that creates and continually refines what we call Ends, or impact statements. Our charge is to define meaningful and appropriate Ends statements, approve a work plan to accomplish the Ends, and continually evaluate our progress in accomplishing our vision and mission. The process is as follows:

Development of the Ends - In a Governance model, the Board must define and continually refine the strategic objectives of the Association. This process has led to the creation of four global Ends Statements about how the work of the Association will favorably impact People, Naturopathic Physician Members, Institutions, and the Planet.

Creation of the Work Plan - A Governance Board has the authority to delegate the work plan to the Executive Director and staff so the Board is not caught up in the day-to-day work of the Association. The Board’s responsibility is to continually assess whether the work of the Association is benefiting our members, communicate the Association activities to our members, and institute course corrections when necessary.

Strategic Vision and Direction - The Board engages in a rigorous process to evaluate our progress towards achieving these “End” results. Thorough assessment of our strategic objectives requires that every Board member actively engage in work that informs our planning. Most often this is work that extends beyond the boundaries of the naturopathic profession. Assessing the power of external partnerships, exploring the impact of naturopathic medicine from an international perspective, and evaluating how technology can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the medicine are just a few of the ways our talented Board members work to ensure we are always looking forward - creating the future, rather than reviewing the past. We are planning for a future where naturopathic medicine is the gold standard for care!

I look forward to serving all of you, please contact me if you have any questions or comments.

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