In the Complementary Mode of Board Governance, there are 3 types of committees or task forces. One is a Policy Task forces, Board Statutory Committees and CEO Working Committees.

Policy Task Forces are there for one purpose and one purpose only, it’s to basically look at the feasibility of something. Explore an issue. Should we do this? Should we not do that? What’s involved in that? It’s around a task force looking at the specific policy and what makes it interesting is it has a specific mandate, a very specific mandate and a time horizon. It’s not a standing committee, it expires. This is really useful to kind of do that work that needs to get done, the research but you don’t want to have this as a standing committee.

It’s there for a specific purpose and has a sunset clause, or expiration for lack of better term and then we have a Board Statutory Committees which are very common, they’re standing committees.These committees of course have a Committee Chair, etc and the committee reports to the Board. This is a Board Committee. The Board strikes the committee. The Board sets the terms of reference for that committee. The Board members recruit volunteers for that committee and they all report to the Board. Easy enough.

What about CEO Working Committees? It’s not all around policy, it’s around execution and implementation. Many of you don’t have the resources internally to get all of this stuff done that needs to get done. Then how do you manage? How do you delegate certain things? Maybe you don’t have the internal resources and staff to do it. You as the CEO strike a working committee. You will point the members of that committee. Of course, some of those members could be volunteers. Of course. Well they’re all volunteers but they could, what I mean to say, they could be Volunteer Directors. That makes the reporting relationship interesting. It actually flips upside down because this is your Board Working Committee and you could in essence have the Chair of the Board be a committee member on your CEO Working Committee reporting to you. You are the boss of that committee.

You would create the terms of reference as the chair of that committee. Set the budget, the mandate, all of that. What the function of that is. And the reporting is to the CEO.

Examples of CEO Working Committees

Short answer is newsletter committee or social media for example. It could be anything. Again, it’s not around policies but it’s the execution. We need to get something done and we need some help to do this.

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About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.

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