Eastside Family Place is a provincially-certified family resource program offering early-years parenting and family support programs and services. In October 2020, the Board of Directors of Eastside Family Place was renewed, and five new members joined. Historically, the Board has met monthly (around 10 times annually) and meetings have tended to focus on operational updates and planning, leaving little time for longer term strategic thinking.
The goals of the engagement included:
- Providing the Board of Eastside Family Place with a shared understanding of their responsibilities as board directors, as well as the possibilities represented by an improved approach to governance,
- Empowering the Board and Executive Director to create a new annual planning cycle and board meeting agenda format incorporating space for strategic thinking and generative dialogue into future meetings.
Scale lead an evening presentation on fiduciary governance, followed by an engaging half-day session on strategic and generative governance. The sessions were designed to ensure Board members would understand:
- governance principles and objectives including fiduciary responsibilities and effective oversight,
- policy-driven as opposed to operationally-driven governance,
- the organization’s planning cycle, and
- how to ensure meetings incorporate generative thinking and strategizing.
Following the sessions, the Board restructured both its meeting agenda and its annual calendar. Board meetings now have more space for dialogue and inquiry and spend less time on operational updates and oversight. The annual calendar ensures that all of the important fiduciary work of the Board is scheduled and completed.