Just a few years ago, if you had asked me to name the primary functions of the governing body, I would have said there are four:
- Quality of Services
I see these primary functions as equally important. The leadership challenge for the CEO and Board is to keep the organization balanced by not focusing on one function to the detriment of another. To be sure, there is a lot of room regarding what could be included under each function; that, too, presents a leadership challenge and requires balance. We all have a natural tendency to reinforce existing strengths and not develop things that we know will require a lot of work but will ultimately make the organization stronger.
Some people would argue for Oversight as a fifth primary function, but I would counter that no managerial endeavor is really any good without oversight. In other words, you can’t say you are responsible for something and then not confirm that you did it. Whether we review something monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, we need some basis for proving that we did indeed carry out our mission. Better yet, we made changes to become more effective.
The Fifth Function
Today, I would add a fifth primary function: Compliance.