KHC undertakes Carver’s Policy Governance training

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KHC Board and Staff and five community guests recently took part in four full days of professional development training with Richard Stringham, Senior Associate, The Governance Coach, an organization that provides comprehensive training in the John Carver Policy Governance® model.

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The group of 15 local leaders (including Councillor Connie Barlow and Councillor Caleb Moss) spent two very full weekend days in April and came back for more for another weekend in late May. The first workshop held in April 2013 introduced the participants to the Policy Governance® model, and began the development of initial policies for Kicking Horse Culture consistent with the governance system. The second workshop  on the weekend of May 25/26 completed the initial policy development process and determined some key points for implementing the governance system.

Embracing the Carver Policy Governance® model was the culmination of a 12 month journey for the KHC board. Unlike many arts non-profits in rural BC, KHC has the capacity to employ professional staff. Often is heard the phrase, “Boards govern, staff manages”, but as we found reviewing the policy manuals of other non-profits, the lines are quite blurred sometimes as to roles and responsibilities of volunteer board directors and staff. We needed to dig deeper into the concept of governance and find a way to incorporate a practice of governance into everything we do.

In April of 2012, three board members and the executive director travelled to Nelson to participate in the BC Arts Council’s Sustainability Semesters. This kick started our journey of exploration culminating in these recent training days.

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Drawing upon the breadth of resources of the Carver Policy Governance model, the KHC Board, along with the thoughtful participation of our community guests – has created a draft Policy Manual. The Policy Manual prescribes roles and responsibilities of staff and board and provides a rigorous check and balance on governance and management by applying ourselves to the policies that the board has drafted for adoption. The continuing coaching process with the Governance Coach over the next three quarters will support the board and staff’s application of these policies throughout the annual cycle.

With the AGM in September, the board will adopt the Policy Governance manual and proceed with a more focused understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the board and staff.

Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust for their financial support towards the training.

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