Guiding Principles for the Governance Consultation
In conducting this review, we have sought to honour and reinforce the following key principles:
The principle of mutuality. LINX is, remains, and must remain, a membership organisation run for the benefit of its members. Any change must protect and reinforce this principle, where necessary with appropriate safeguards to prevent the “executive” side of the organisation from losing track of this. The Board is ultimately responsible for safeguarding the interests of the membership, and must itself be responsive to the membership.
The principle of conservativism. LINX has a tradition of approaching governance changes slowly and cautiously, testing that one set of changes works before embarking on the next, and always consulting members fully and winning their support before pressing ahead. This has served us well over many years.
The principle of continuous improvement. LINX is a growing and evolving organisation that seeks continually to improve in all respects. Its own governance is no exception. Moreover, even to stand still, LINX’s governance must evolve to meet the growing needs of the rest of the organisation.
The principle of cohesion. The Board must work in cohesion with and with full input from those charged with running the business (e.g. the senior management team) in order to ensure the effective discharge of its responsibilities – including its responsibility to safeguard and uphold mutuality. Changes in the size or structure of the employed staff must not be allowed to create a divergence between a “Board view” and an “executive view” that would undermine the Board’s effectiveness. At least one executive director should join the Board in addition to the CEO.
The principle of competence. Board members should between them have personal attributes sufficient to enable appropriate Board-level oversight of the entire organisation. This means the Board should be made up of individuals of sufficient experience and qualities to be able to serve appropriately.
The principle of equality. Board members should work with each other on an equal footing, to foster open discussion and to allow robust challenge and accountability in an atmosphere of respectful courtesy.
The principle of practicality. The Board should not be increased to an unwieldy size or one that inhibits or limits discussion.
The principle of oversight. These days the Board has, and should have, less direct involvement in operational matters, but should oversee the development of LINX and take responsibility for prioritisation, risk management, and ensuring that LINX is capable of meeting its operational requirements.