Board polarities for charities

Evaluating the performance of a commercial organisation is difficult enough, but evaluating the performance of a charity, which is set up for the benefit of the public and builds social rather than financial value, is particularly challenging.

For this reason, we have developed a new model, Board polarities for charities, designed to drive reflection, discussion and change to enable a charity board to achieve its full potential.

Getting the right balance

We have developed the Board polarities for charities model with our partners, YSC and Tomorrow’s Company. It draws on polarity management and allows charity boards to balance the critical behaviours within the boardroom and within the organisation to improve performance and impact.

A charity board has to balance forces within the organisation which can seem to be contradictory:

  • to be strategic and at the same time practical
  • to be driven by values and to build social value, with  financial sustainability
  • to be entrepreneurial and to manage risk

There are apparent contradictions within the board too:

  • how can individual trustees make a personal impact whilst the board works as a team? 
  • how can the board lead successfully in ‘steady state’ conditions and at the same time be adaptable for new opportunities? 

The polarities model addresses the balance of these different forces to bring about transformational change. It strikes a balance between competing polarities. Importantly, the polarities process works in a constructive, non-judgemental, way to help the organisation achieve its full potential.

Download the brochure to learn more.