Your Course of Study
Key to this leadership development program's effectiveness are Harvard Business School's interactive approach to learning and the team of HBS faculty members who combine extensive research and experience in board leadership and nonprofit management with world-class teaching expertise. The curriculum is developed around four core governance competencies: board leadership, strategic stewardship, performance measurement, and financial oversight. In-depth case studies showcase the real-life struggles of boards in their various leadership efforts.
Curriculum components include:
Board Leadership – As boards engineer new forms of strategic alignment and adopt new governance systems, the dynamics between boards and CEOs are changing. The cases present innovative models of leadership, focusing on defining the organization's mission for the greatest impact, clarifying board roles and responsibilities, and planning for CEO succession.
Strategic Stewardship – Today, nonprofit boards are being forced to consider strategic options that would have been unthinkable in the recent past. The central topics in nonprofit boardrooms include downsizing or closing facilities, entering into collaborative arrangements, crafting mergers, and pursuing new and often controversial revenue streams. Classroom discussions center on governance frameworks, alliance creation, and fundraising strategies.
Performance Measurement – Every organization needs to assess performance, but for nonprofits the metrics are less obvious. Nonprofit boards must guide their organizations in defining meaningful metrics to measure organizational performance. Case studies showcase the latest approaches, tools, and systems to support performance and measurement assessments.
Financial Oversight – Spillover pressures from Sarbanes-Oxley legislation and greater media attention on the nonprofit world are bringing into question old models of oversight. Case discussions center on accountability, compliance, and financial oversight.
"I have served on a number of charitable boards over the years, and was seeking to sharpen my game. You try to apply your business acumen to a nonprofit, and then realize it's a very different world. At HBS, I learned how to overcome the entry-level problem that many businesspeople have when they come into nonprofit management."
Diane Powell [Board Member], Des Plaines Charitable Trust, U.S.