In an insightful article in Congregations magazine (Alban Institute), one my favourite authors on governance, Dan Hotchkiss, outlines the differences between operational teams who work to achieve something together and effective governing committees whose work is thinking, wrestling with values, priorities and principles to make a collective wise recommendations on action. We need great groups who know how do to this work.
A great group is clear on its purpose. A great group is clear on its process and this process is always collective. The reason we need groups is to enable deeper reflection, questioning, listening and counsel so that we make better decisions than could be made by one person alone. A great group is clear on its communication.
“.. great committees set the table for important conversations. Great committees lead, not by getting their way, but by clarifying issues, gathering data, and posing questions that enable the board and the entire community to make its most important choices.”
“Big decisions require great committees, committees brave enough to require others—board, staff, congregation—to reflect more deeply and intelligently before making the decisions that matter in the long run.” Dan Hotchkiss