Jeremy Nowak, president of the Philadelphia-based Reinvestment Fund, the chairman of the boards of the Mastery Charter Schools Foundation and Alex's Lemonade Stand, the vice chairman of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, and a member of the board of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, offered in philly.com some lessons about the components of good governance while describing bad governance as demonstrated in the actions of the Philadelphia Housing Authority and Delaware River Port Authority.
Mr. Nowak offered that "the substance of governance is social engagement and personal character" and that "It's the trustees' job to know that all is not well." and, finally that "reviewing the CEO's performance is one of the most important governance functions in every organization."
While I absolutely agree with Mr. Nowak on these principles. Boards and board members are challenged not only by their environments but by their level of skill and knowledge. I believe we need to find a more effective means of educating folks about how to live their governance correctly and also on to hold all accountable. I would propose that between the IRS, State Regulators and maybe D&O insurance providers, we could find a solution to the challenges that ails public and nonprofit governance.