Managing Indigenous Organisations

Happy New Year! And Some Tips For 2021

Happy New Year to all our "Managing Indigenous Organisations" readers. It's been a full-on year for leaders and managers of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander corporations so we send you our best wishes for a happy new year ahead! We hope you have scheduled some time off to spend with family and friends and enjoy a break. But in looking forward to 2021 we also wanted to give you some tips about some initiatives for the next year, aimed at continuing to grow and improve your corporation. 1. Review or prepare your strategic plan Before it all starts again, review your strategic plan. Do you need to make any amendments due to changed circumstances? If you don't have a strategic plan, consider preparing one to help you steer toward your ultimate goals. 2. Update or prepare your Policies and Procedures Over time, your Policy & Procedures manual can get overtaken by changes in personnel and their slight changes to how things are done. A good and accurate record of your Policies and Procedures can improve efficiency by over 50% just because it promotes efficient and authentic procedures. 3. Review your financial performance Half-way through a financial year is a great time to review where you are between budget and...
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Principles of a Good Partnership For Indigenous Organisations

How well a partnership operates depends on people more than procedures. Good governance of a partnership rests on building structures around people. There are three components of what makes a good partnership: -
  1. Behaviours;
  2. Structures; and
  3. Governance and Management Processes.
Behaviours What you want to achieve from the partnership indicates the kind of attitudes you need to bring to the partnership. For example, if what you want to achieve is co-operation about the management of Country, then the attitude you need to bring is one open to co-operation. If you want to build a business that will carry on for the foreseeable future, then you need to bring an attitude appropriate to the building of a long-term relationship with your partners where you are open and honest and willing to negotiate fairly. There are, however, some keystone behaviours that you need to bring to any partnership, and these are: -
  • Respect and fairness – no relationship can survive where partners don’t respect each other, constantly work to “do one better” over the other and attempt to gain an unfair advantage. Your community or corporation has to understand that even if you gain a...
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Governance of Partnerships and Joint Ventures By Indigenous Organisations

Governance of a partnership, whatever form it takes, is as important as governance in a corporation. In fact, it is exactly the same. Governance is not the same as Management and the two should not be confused – it is critically important to keep them separate. Governance is about providing strategic oversight over an entity. Management is about coordinating day-to-day operations. Governance is like the Principal of a school making sure that all the teachers operate to an approved syllabus, to a required standard. Management is like the teachers deciding how to teach topics between Monday and Friday. If you mix the two up there is a risk that individual teachers will teach topics outside of the syllabus. There is a risk that the required standard of teaching will not be reached. There is a risk that individual students will receive special attention while others receive none. If the Principal decides to interfere with the teaching timetable, they run the risk of not being able to provide the correct standard of teaching within the time allocated. Having the Principal means that there is oversight over syllabus and standards. Having teachers do the teaching means that their role of providing the right type of teaching is applied. Governance...
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Are You Prepared For A Catastrophe?

If you manage an Indigenous organisation as a CEO or a Senior Manager of a unit, or if you have oversight as it's Chairperson, you probably have some concern in the back of your mind about some of the risks you face. You can probably cope with some of the small things like a computer crash or the loss of a staff member, even if you had not prepared beforehand. These are things you can work on as they happen, even if it is a bit inefficient, and could involve some delay or disruption to operations. But what about catastrophes? (more…)...
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