Governance Staffing: How Much Do We Need?

by Luanne R. Stout

“Too many companies believe people are interchangeable. Truly gifted people never are. They have unique talents. Such people cannot be forced into roles they are not suited for, nor should they be. Effective leaders allow great people to do the work they were born to do.”
― Warren G. Bennis, Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration

In most professions, there are clear and relatively consistent pathways along one’s career continuum, as well as clearly defined experiential and educational requirements. Not so with health care governance staffing, which ranges from board support provided by a CEO’s assistant all the way to a comprehensive governance support staff led by a senior vice president/chief governance officer. One possible reason for this variability is that no recognized degree program or training for governance support exists. Another factor is that health care CEOs may consider themselves to be governance experts and, therefore, are likely to place less value on training and experience for their governance staff.

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