"Action Planning have been immensely helpful in listening, stimulating and advising our trustees, which has enabled us to rejuvenate our governance and top level strategy from the benefit of a fresh perspective. David Saint’s listening skills are very important, and also his skills in helping people to think around difficult questions and to formulate their own views and express those in a structured way. "
Harry Graham, President, Mission Without Borders International
Strengthening an international presence
Client: mission without borders international (mwbi)
Our association with MWBI goes back several years, when we provided fundraising advice and consultancy. The charity is an international Christian organisation serving the spiritual, educational, emotional and material needs of people suffering poverty or oppression, without regard to their religion or ethnic background. However, our record of working with faith-based organisations, and our understanding of MWBI’s values as a Christian organisation was an important factor in being chosen to help with advice on matters relating to governance, specifically the need to strengthen the international board.
Initially we were asked to give some general advice about MWBI’s governance. We were then asked to facilitate a pre-AGM meeting of the international board.
The starting point was to hold Skype interviews with each of the members of the International Board. Informed by these conversations we were able to structure and facilitate a day of meetings in Moldova, where we encouraged members to discuss and clarify the charity’s mission and vision. We then moved on to gain consensus on a clearly defined approvals policy to tackle issues of accountability, and recorded these discussions in a report for the board to reference as it moved forward.
As a result of the awayday, we have helped the charity achieve greater clarity on future vision and mission, and governance. Subsequently we were able to work with MWBI to identify and shortlist candidates to strengthen its international board, one of whom has since been appointed.
It can be difficult for a group of committed and long-serving trustees to stand back and take a fresh look at the world. By asking open questions – and being genuinely interested in the answers – a consultant can help the trustees explore new challenges and opportunities, and provide a framework for constructive imagination and decision-making.