Reading the definition of governance from dictionary.com, it’s no wonder leaders struggle with effectiveness.
Authoritarian control may be what we need from governance in parts of the world that are wildly out of control – the many areas of the world that are ripped apart by violence and instability. But in the vast regions of the world that are at peace, living relatively stable lives, governance means something else.
But what, exactly?
Political pundits consternate over the role of government, from the local level to the global stage. Leaders of tiny community organizations consternate over the role of their boards. Corporations large and small, mom-and-pop businesses all over the globe – they all struggle to find the most effective roles for governing the entities they oversee.
Arguing about the role of governance is all about the “doing” part – what should governments or boards be DOING when it comes to governing? Looking at that definition, though, we realize that we can’t really define what governance should/shouldn’t DO until we first define what it IS.
Creating the Future’s Governance Initiative
With the definition of governance clearly up for grabs, Creating the Future is embarking on an initiative to examine governance in the 21st century.
- What would governance look like if it were aimed at the highest potential of what we as humans are capable of achieving?
- And then how might that translate to how individual groups are governing. The owner of a small, socially conscious business; the leader of a sprawling government department; the board of a traditional “nonprofit organization;” a one-person social enterprise… the question of “who’s in charge?” isn’t limited to any particular type of effort!
So let’s start at the beginning – the best possible outcome we could imagine. After all, we don’t need governance for the sake of governance – we need it for the results it can provide. So let’s define the results we DO want (vs. the ongoing drumbeat of what we do NOT want from governance, especially at the public level….)
- What would amazing governance make possible in this 21st century?
- For a business, a community benefit organization, a government office – if governance was achieving everything it could, what would that make possible… and for whom?
- Specific to social change efforts and community benefit groups – if governance was wildly successful, what would that make possible… and for whom?
Excited to see what we come up with!