for the Carver Policy Governance® Model
Not at all. The ends conceptunique to Policy Governanceis a very special type of goal, one that designates the results for which the organization exists, the recipients or beneficiaries of those results, and the worth of the results or the results for certain recipient groups. There is no existing management term that combines these elements. Moreover, the words goal and objective refer to ends sometimes and to non-ends sometimes. Since the ends/means distinction is a basis for designing good governance, the use of traditional management terms would be dysfunctional.
Not at all. Strategic planning is a useful management tool enabling managers to plan the allocation and use of resources over a multiple year period in order to fulfill organizational purpose. Careful designation of that overarching purpose in terms of effects on the world, who receives the effects, and the results/money value of the effects is ends. Strategic plans are almost entirely means documents for which managers not only have accountability but the information and skill to set out and follow. It is true that the board's work is 'strategic,' but that does not imply doing any more with a strategic plan than to make clear in ends policies the reason for having any planning at all!
Services and programs (or curricula in schools) are important arrangements of staff work and physical arrangements meant to have the desired effect on a target population at some level of efficiency. Designations of the desired effect, intended population, and required results for money spent are, taken together, what the Policy Governance model calls ends. For example, a job training program is a means issue; that a certain population have job skills is an ends issue. Services and programs are, then, very important staff means, not ends at all.
Clearly, ends should be revisited on a regular, very focused basis, for they determine the usefulness of an organization to a changing world. The Policy Governance model leaves the determination of how often is "regular" to each board. The appropriate periodicity depends on the kind of organization, the specific environmental circumstances, owner wishes, and exactly which ends are being considered. Some ends, some owner wishes, and so forth, are most affected to change by emerging conditions than others. As a rule of thumb, a board might tentatively choose a one year reconsideration cycle, from which it could entertain arguments for a longer or shorter period. Whatever the length of the cycle, however, the board could structure its agendas so that some aspect of ends is on the 'front burner' at all times.
It is very unlikely. Mission statements come in many forms, but rarely does one conform to the strict results-recipients-worth format of ends. Pre-existing mission statements might be inspirational, slogan-ready, or even fairly specific about the 'recipients' component of ends, but we've never found one that fulfills the requirements for a global (all-inclusive) expression of the three critical variables. We recommend that the board make a gift to the CEO of the pre-existing mission statement, allowing him or her to discard it or use it however he or she thinks useful, perhaps in material for public relations.
Boards, particularly nonprofit and governmental boards, have traditionally been lax about setting rigorous expectations for organizational performance. Frequently, they set none or almost none. At other times they express performance in terms of staff activity or program operation, thereby rewarding not impact on intended consumers, but well-intended busyness. (Teaching is not the same as student achievement. Counseling is not the same as client improvement. Coaching is not the same as winning. Running a service is not the same as obtaining intended results.) Moreover, once it is clear which results are to accrue to whom at what result/cost (efficiency), all other staff decisions can be allowed to vary within pre-set limits of ethics and prudence. Thus, the ends concept imparts a real-world focus for organization effort and optimum empowerment of management, while enabling board withdrawal from myriad "how to" questions best answered by staff anyway.
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