Without a simply expressed clear source document, Policy Governance is not reliably grounded and not transferable as a paradigm of governance. It is left vulnerable to interpretation, adaptation and impotence. This document has been produced by the International Policy Governance Association and approved by John and Miriam Carver as being true to source.
John Carver introduced the concept of ownership to the non-profit sector. In my experience, the significance of this concept is often not fully appreciated for what it is -- the fundamental starting point for good governance under any model. It is also my belief that lack of an appreciation of the importance of ownership is at the root of many non-profit board's governance problems, and, certainly, without such an appreciation, the full value of Policy Governance can never be grasped. Nonprofits that do not embrace the concept of "ownership" often think instead of "stakeholders". Let us uncover what lies behind these two concepts.
In the past five hundred years or so, authentic Christians have perfected the art of separating themselves from other authentic Christians for countless self-justifying reasons. The formula is easy to remember and easy to follow:
If we disagree, we part!
Having Policy Governance principles to guide the board in developing a set of policies that address all of the governance responsibilities, having the board over time progressively refining those policies in response to changing internal and external conditions and the increasing wisdom gained from the experience of governing enables the development and maintenance of core values to a level not otherwise possible.