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Governance - Diagnostic Questionnaire

Governance - Diagnostic Questionnaire

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Published by Rory Ridley Duff
This governance diagnostic questionnaire was designed by Rory Ridley-Duff, Mike Bull and Tracey Coule and piloted at seminars in the summer of 2008 on a knowledge exchange programme funded by Sheffield Hallam University. Web-based and customised versions can be licenced from the authors.
This governance diagnostic questionnaire was designed by Rory Ridley-Duff, Mike Bull and Tracey Coule and piloted at seminars in the summer of 2008 on a knowledge exchange programme funded by Sheffield Hallam University. Web-based and customised versions can be licenced from the authors.

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Published by: Rory Ridley Duff on Apr 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Governance Diagnostic Questionnaire
This questionnaire helps you to discover new ways to investigate and learn aboutgovernance. It is designed to stimulate awareness of how governance operates withinyour organisation, and how governance affects you in your organisational role.
As educators, the authors’ are
committed to developing 'reflexive' practitioners (managers, employees, professionals, trustees and directors) able to reflect on their own experience to develop applied knowledge.This questionnaire, therefore, is a learning tool rather than a test. It contributes to learning:
By promoting self-awareness of the responsibilities accepted by a Trustee Board or Board of Directors
By promoting self-awareness regarding the way authority and control affects your organisational role.
There are no right or wrong answers.
The diagnostic nature of the tool does not test for levels of compliance with legislation, codes of conduct, or evaluate the performance of you individually or your  board. Instead, it provides a picture of your awareness levels and perception of problem-solving in your organisational role, so that you can reflect on the effectiveness of both your (and your organisation's)approach to governance.The questionnaire has 24 questions about situations you may face in the workplace. These are groupedinto six sections as follows:
Legal Responsibilities
Stakeholder Involvement
Funding and Investment
Employees, Members and Volunteers
Executives and Management
Board Development and MaintenanceTo complete the diagnostic questionnaire, read each of the questions and choose the answer that mostclosely matches your experience (or aspiration if you do not have direct experience). Where you havedirect experience, answer on the basis of practice (rather than policy) - choose what actually happensrather than what is supposed to happen. Where you do not have experience, choose on the basis of whatyou would like to happen.
The questionnaire should take you between 30 - 60 minutes to complete.
Please tick only one response to each question.
 Designed by Dr Rory Ridley-Duff. Input from Mike Bull and Dr Tracey Coule.
© 2009.
 Restricted Rights. This version may be used “as is” for educational purposes. Commercial use is not permitted.
 To licence a web-based version of this questionnaire, or to licence customised versions for corporate or commercial use, please contact r.ridley-duff@shu.ac.uk 
 ,Sheffield Hallam University or  m.bull@mmu.ac.uk 
 ,Manchester Metropolitan University.
Governance Diagnostic Questionnaire
© Dr Rory Ridley-Duff, Mike Bull and Dr Tracey Coule, 2009. Reproduced with permission.
Section 1 - Legal Issues
On our own or all together?
1. How has your organisation gone about developing its policy on equality of opportunity?
a. We are individually committed to equal opportunity but don't have a formal written policy. b. Our policy was negotiated by members / employees and managers together, then discussed andapproved by the board.c. I don't know if we have an equal opportunity policy / we've not discussed this policy at board level.d. We left development of our equal opportunity policy to our Chief Executive / Human ResourcesManager.e. We discussed the basic parameters at board level and then delegated the task to a manager.
2. How does your board go about assessing threats and opportunities from new legislationor regulations?
a. We ask our Chief Executive / General Manager or get professional advice when we need to knowsomething. b. We discuss risks and opportunities arising from new legalisation and involve our managers and other staff in these discussions.c. Our board has been assembled / appointed for their legal awareness. We rely on them to identifythreats and opportunities.d. I'm unsure if we've ever properly discussed the threats and opportunities that arise from newlegislation.e. We have informal discussions inside/outside board meetings and occasionally involve experts to raiseour awareness.
3. Which of the following most closely resembles the way your organisation resolved arecent difference of opinion about how to respond to legislation?
a. We didn't debate it much. We took guidance from our Chief Executive / Chair / External Consultant. b. Disputes are rare, but when this one occurred, there was a lot of politics involved to reach acompromise.c. We got someone to carefully research the underlying issues, get input from our stakeholders, thenfacilitated a board level debate.d. I can't ever remember us having a major difference of opinion or dispute about the way we meet our legal obligations.e.
We had robust debate at board meetings until we agreed a policy. We don’t wash our dirty linen in
front of staff.
4. Which of the following most closely resembles the way you involve the workforce inmeeting new legal requirements?
a. Staff representatives are informally and formally involved in developing plans from the outset. b. We consult staff once proposals are formally agreed by the board and address concerns in the light of organisational needs.c. Our CEO doesn't discuss plans with staff until s/he has got in principle agreement from the board /senior management.d. Our planning process is informal and organic. We go with good ideas regardless of their source.e. I can't remember ever seeing a strategic plan in this place. We usually go along with the founder's /chair's wishes.
Governance Diagnostic Questionnaire
© Dr Rory Ridley-Duff, Mike Bull and Dr Tracey Coule, 2009. Reproduced with permission.
Section 2 - Stakeholders
 Pursuing the common good or meeting the needs of stakeholders?
5. Which of the following most closely matches the way your executive(s) view thedevelopment of a mission and social values?
a. This mission stuff is a fad: all stakeholders' values have to be respected in an effective organisation. b. It is vital that the board sets a clear mission and values. This has to be communicated by managersto all staff.c. The mission / values of an organisation are set by the founder / leader. The board, staff andvolunteers learn to apply these in their decision-making.d. It is a bit vague here - that's no bad thing. I've not participated in discussion about mission or values.e. It doesn't help to fix mission and values: we debate how to change and evolve our organisation.
6. Which statement most closely reflects attitudes to stakeholder involvement in strategicdecision-making?
a. Service user / staff representation would undermine the professionalism we want to develop in our  policy making. b. I'm not sure how organised our service users / staff are or how we might integrate them intodecision-making.c. Our Chief Executive leads on this: it is not something we (would) discuss at board level.d. We formally include service users and other parties: it is a way to improve governance and promotehealthy debate.e. Managers / board members meet informally with service users/members and we find this helpful.Formal arrangements won't help.
7. When there are disagreements between two stakeholder groups, which of the followingmost closely matches the way you go about resolving the dispute?
a. Disputes happen and are often complex once investigated. We have a process, but the person withmost power usually prevails. b. There is very little conflict in our organisation: I can't remember us ever needing to use a conflictresolution process.c. If two parties cannot agree, we bring in a third-party to mediate until the parties reach agreement.d. We have a clear mission and set of values. When there is conflict we ensure the organisation is putfirst and its values are upheld.e. Whoever is in disagreement, we get round a table to identify underlying issues / interests. Conflictcan be used to improve decisions and create respect.
8. Which of the following statements most closely matches your approach tocommunication during strategic planning?
a. The founder / CEO creates written plans of what we'll do and the board checks this over beforegiving approval. b. Planning is an iterative process that brings together different stakeholders into working parties on acontinual basis to create policies.c. We're not big on formal planning but spend a lot of time investigating a range of projectopportunities on an ongoing basis.d. Plans are developed by leader(s) with board guidance. Once agreed, we work with stakeholders todeploy resources effectively.e. Our planning pro
cess is informal. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen
/ approved a written plan.

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