Good Governance, Strategic Planning workshops help community groups

Strategic thinking: Local Land Service members, Jodie Lawler and James Easterbrook attended the Good Governanc workshop which was presented by Steven Bowman (middle). Photo: Taylor Jurd.
Strategic thinking: Local Land Service members, Jodie Lawler and James Easterbrook attended the Good Governanc workshop which was presented by Steven Bowman (middle). Photo: Taylor Jurd.

A leading consultant aimed to provide community groups with a range of tools and techniques that will help them free up time in their meetings and have a clearer direction with their organisation’s vision.

The Good Governance and Strategic Planning workshops were hosted by world renowned presenter Steven Bowman, who is a governance and senior executive team specialist. 

Mr Bowman said good governance is often misidentified as a set of policies and procedures that help people make decisions.

“What it actually is is a collective group of people who choose to create the future for the communities they serve,” he said.

Mr Bowman said the attendees goal was to find out how to run meetings so they’re more effective.

“That’s the easy part…. We said it many times today, ‘you don’t meet to meet, you meet to create change in the future’ so... keep that in the forefront anytime you get bogged down,” he said.

During the two day workshops, Mr Bowman touched on a range of topics, including the role of committees and boards.

“And its role is not to meet or talk, its role is to create the future,” he said.

“So any committee, any board, its key role is to make the choices that create the future for the communities we serve. If they understand what that is, then everything else becomes very easy.”

Mr Bowman spoke about the power of a vision statement which provides an insight into the difference an organisation wants to make and how it can be used to unlock finance and innovation or create community involvement.

Being a strategic group was also a hot topic at the workshop.

Mr Bowman said setting up policies and procedures was easy, but managing people to be strategic was often difficult for smaller groups.

“There’s no point having a committee where you prove just that everyone's busy. What we actually want to do as a committee is to continually focus on is what we’re doing is actually helping create the future that we know can be created,” Mr Bowman said.

Everyone in the workshop was most likely sitting on at least two other committees as well, he said.

“So whats it’s doing is giving them the tools and the techniques and insight so that they can actually start to create even greater change…,” Mr Bowman said.

“It’s fairly typical for an Australian in the course of their career to sit on four, five or six boards of some sort.

“A lot of what we’ve talked about is really about how to deal with difficult people, how to structure board meeting sot that they’re interesting, enjoyable and short.”