Governance challenges in an evolving sector

By Matthew Pringle - May 31, 2017

In our previous edition we discussed what impact a client integrated service model is having on the current business models and governance structures of health and aged care sector service providers. In this article we focus on what those responsible for governance can do to prepare themselves and their organisations for rapid change.

Honest reflection is the cornerstone to identifying the need for change. We have sought to support our health and aged care clients to undertake such action through the development of a “Governance Health Check” that focuses on some of the key issues to consider.  Amongst the numerous governance challenges the Health Check addresses, the key issues and themes to focus on to improve board performance include:

  • When was the last time your board undertook a self- assessment of its performance, the views of directors on their and other directors’ contributions, and provided feedback on recommended improvements to process, decision making, contribution and engagement? Has your board also sought this feedback from senior executives and key stakeholders?
  • Does your board encourage skills development, and demand board members remain up to date with relevant business, legal, personnel, IT and industry knowledge?
  • Has the quality, nature and timing of information being provided to the board been critically assessed and reviewed for relevance and currency in this changing environment and are historic key business metrics and KPIs still relevant?
  • How long has it been since the board seriously reviewed its strategy and in this new environment asked itself:
    • Who are we and why will we / should we survive?
    • What is the compelling case for our services and method of delivery and is this sustainable?
    • What needs to change and do we have the right people, systems, processes and experience to remain competitive and provide a valued service?
  • Has the board critically assessed its existing skills and competencies and compared this to an assessment of what is needed in the future:
    • Does the board reflect its future skill requirements?
    • Has it experience in a competitive landscape?
    • Is its knowledge current?
    • Has it modern technology, customer service delivery models and customer centric marketing skills?
    • Is it used to winning and retaining clients as compared to being responsible for all clients in a geographic area?
    • Is it the referrer of choice?
  • Has the board performed a  critical review of data and business metrics.
  • As government regional contracts shift to customer choice, how is service delivery, client retention, cost vs revenues etc measured?
  • Has the board considered the need for a different resourcing model i.e. moving away from fixed to a flexible workforce as revenues shift from long term contract to individual client need?

As can be seen from the sample of questions, the challenge is more than who is in a governance role and the ‘what and how’ of the information that is provided to them. The shift to a client integrated service model can demand a challenge to an organisation’s core purpose, a review of its strategic goals, and a complete reinvention of how it delivers services.

We can assist boards and management teams navigate this changing landscape to help ensure their organisation is well prepared, resilient and set up to succeed in this new and evolving environment.

For further advice on how you can improve your board’s effectiveness, contact Matthew Pringle on (03) 8610 5188.

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