Road to Better Governance

Original content published in the January 2012 issue of Trustee magazine, Vol. 65, No. 1. © 2012 by Health Forum Inc. All rights reserved. Permission granted for digital use only.

By John J. Ayoub

Competency-based peer assessment promotes self-discovery and outreach in an elected board

Given the nature and challenges of small, elected boards, choosing to look inward and improve governance is no easy decision. Our system, the East Phillips County Hospital District, does business as Melissa Memorial Hospital and the Family Practice of Holyoke in Holyoke, Colo. The District is led by five elected directors who serve four-year terms.

With at least two of our five directors up for re-election every two years, it would be easy to avoid governance improvement efforts. However, we realized that longer-term success and better organizational performance are most effective when everyone from the board to the front line recognizes that improving him or herself or the processes surrounding each position contributes to the betterment of the whole organization.

With this in mind, our board in 2010 participated in the Center for Healthcare Governance’s Competency-Based Peer Assessment. We focused on trustee core competencies in two categories: personal capabilities and knowledge and skills. The fifteen competencies in the personal capabilities category are: accountability; achievement orientation; change leadership; collaboration; community orientation; impact and influence; information seeking; innovative thinking; managing complexity; organizational awareness; professionalism;relationship building; strategic orientation; talent development; and team leadership.The knowledge and skills category consists of health care delivery and performance; business and finance; and human resources.

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