Given our practice of Policy Governance, the Board of Kicking Horse Culture has determined our Global End (that what must be achieved) as: Kicking Horse Culture exists so that Kicking Horse Country enjoys and values arts and culture at a use of resources that demonstrates good stewardship of funds received.

Under the Policy Governance model, the KHC/GDAC Board identifies the 7,000 citizens of our region as the “moral owners” of the arts council and has various policies to link to the “moral owners” of the society. The following resources provide further insight into KHC’s practice of Policy Governance:

KHC’s transition to Policy Governance

In April 2012, four KHC board members and the executive director travelled to Nelson for a two day professional development institute funded by the BC Arts Council. Throughout the weekend, KHC folks worked with delegates from cultural organizations from around the Basin exploring the best practices of “sustainable” organizations. Despite KHC’s reputation as a high achieving organization, it became apparent to the KHC delegates that the board’s role of governance needed greater clarity and attention.

Read more: KHC’s transition to PG (opens in a PDF)

What is Policy Governance?

Policy Governance is a model of governance created by Dr. John Carver. It is often referred to as “Carver governance” or the “Carver model”. Policy Governance principles form a complete governance system which enables boards to provide strategic leadership in creating the future for their organizations. Policy Governance is designed to ensure accountability of the Board to the owners or shareholders and of the chief executive staff person (CEO) to the Board. The model enables the board to focus on the larger issues, to delegate with clarity, to control management’s job without meddling, to rigorously evaluate the accomplishment of the organization; to truly lead its organization.

Read more: What is PG (opens in a PDF)

10 Principles of Policy Governance for a non-profit Society

The Carver model is made up of a set of internally consistent principles, all of which are necessary in order for the model to work because it was designed as a system.

  • Strategic Leadership: PG enables a board to exercise strategic foresight and provide strategic leadership – the board’s key responsibility – by clearly defining, on behalf of the owners, what needs are to be met, for whom, and at what worth.
  • Role Clarity: PG provides clear definition of where governance stops and management starts. This clarity frees the board from either “rubber-stamping” or “meddling.”
  • Empowerment with Rigorous Accountability: By clearly defining expected organizational results and setting parameters within which management has freedom, the board can unleash management creativity but still hold management rigorously accountable.
  • Accountability to Owners: PG helps a board be accountable to its shareholders (in equity corporations) or “moral owners” (in public sector and not-for-profit organizations).

Read more: Principles of Carver Policy Governance (opens in a PDF)

What Are KHC’s ENDS?

Ends are defined as: the benefits the organization is to produce, for which people, at what cost or worth. To determine Ends, the board connects its authority and accountability to those who morally own the organization. “Owners,” as used in the Policy Governance model, are not all stakeholders, but only those who stand in a position corresponding to shareholders in an equity corporation. Through a process of consultation called “ownership linkage” the board links to the moral owners to determine the Ends and the Executive limitations policies.

Read more: What are Ends (opens in a PDF)