Governance Toolkit Introduction

What is governance?

Governance consists of the various processes and practices used to orient, guide, coordinate and manage the activities of a social group or organization. In terms of your organization, it is how it is structured, led and managed.

Many associations and organizations are governed by a Board of Directors who are ultimately responsible for the Governance of the organization and may have staff responsible for managing the organization. The role of Governance becomes very important in determining the roles and responsibilities of Board and staff.

Why is good governance needed?

Good governance ensures your organization is well structured, led and managed.

Associations and organizations are set up to help their members with a range of production and management issues.

Unfortunately, many organizations suffer greatly from a lack of:

  1. Understanding of Governance and best practices
  2. Understanding Governance options and how Governance applies to their unique situation
  3. Having and understanding how to use the processes and practices to support good Governance including a process to review Governance practices
  4. Understanding the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of persons within the organization relating to Governance
  5. Learning and ongoing skills development in relation to Governance
  6. Understanding how inaccurate Governance can cost the organization in time, energy and financial resources
  7. Expert advice and coaching in Governance

What happens when governance fails?

When governance fails:

  1. Conflict arises between Directors on the Board or between the Board and its staff members;
  2. Roles are unclear on who is leading and who is managing the organization;
  3. Board of Director meetings become long, tedious and unproductive;
  4. It becomes difficult to enlist succession at the Board level, because Directors lose faith in the capacity of the organization to achieve positive outcomes;
  5. The products or services to which the association or organization is meant to provide leadership loses ground in the industry it serves;
  6. The association or organization falls under the control of a few individuals who exercise power without consideration of others;
  7. No strategic or operational planning takes place nor does any management of change.

What is in the online Governance Toolkit?

RANA believes that its Governance Toolkit is an opportunity to define Governance for what it is and to set up the principles and practices that relate directly to the Governance needs of agricultural organizations.

RANA believes that its Governance Toolkit is an opportunity to define Governance for what it is and to set up the principles and practices that relate directly to the Governance needs of agricultural organizations.

The Governance Toolkit features a suite of governance Modules and Tools.

The modules deal with:

  • The type and role of your Board
  • The values of your Board and organization
  • The organization’s core business processes
  • The organization’s support business processes
  • The organization’s methods of informing and communicating

For each module, there are a series of Tools associations and organizations can customize and use to support Governance. Included in the Tools are fillable documentation and examples to guide you.

How do I use the Governance Toolkit?

The RANA Governance Toolkit is structured as follows:

You will find 5 segments that provide a process and checklist of the management processes Boards of Directors and staff will need to set up and maintain the organization.

Part 2 mirrors Part 1 and provides a wide array of tools to perform the necessary governance and management tasks of the organization.

Part 3 provides additional tools, information on other governance materials available across the country and a bibliography.

How can RANA help?

RANA wishes to:

  • Bring the knowledge, skills and motivation to work effectively as a Director who is elected to the Board of an association or organization,  and make the essential linkages between elected Directors and hired Staff, so that each understands and respects the role of the other; and
  • Provide information, advice and consultation to associations and organizations struggling with governance

RANA defines its overall governance services in terms of:

  • Learning: we can provide you with training in governance
  • Facilitation: we can facilitate work sessions in governance live or online
  • Coaching: we can provide advice and counsel on issues of governance
  • Diagnosis: we can assess the status of your organization’s governance
  • Design: we can provide expertise in developing your governance policies
  • Remediation: we can help make necessary changes to your governance structure