February 5, 2020

Lifting your gaze: Governing for social impact

In a partnership between the Centre for Social Impact (CSI), AGSM @ UNSW Business School, JBWere and NAB, more than 200 social impact leaders from across the Australian not-for-profit sector have now progressed through a unique Governance for Social Impact education program.

The leadership initiative was developed after the need for the course content was identified through a pilot program run by CSI and JBWere in 2018.

“We piloted the course to 40 experienced Board Directors of for-purpose organisations across Australia to test the need for a course like this,” says Shamal Dass from JBWere.

“As a result of the pilot there was overwhelming support for an executive education program focused on leading for social impact.”

Moving beyond the essential legal and financial responsibilities of Board Directors, the 2-day intensive course leads participants through the social impact ecosystem and what it means to govern with a 'mission-first' agenda.

Through a combination of lectures, case studies, small group work and class debates, the program covers:

  • How to effectively govern in a complex social ecosystem
  • Understanding different types of problems and what it means to govern with a 'mission-first' agenda
  • The role of boards in optimising strategy for social impact
  • Achieving mission by measuring what matters most, for the people who matter most
  • Exercising effective leadership while governing for impact

The course has received positive feedback and over the past year:

  • 98 per cent of participants said the program would enable them to become more effective social purpose leaders
  • 97 per cent of participants gained confidence in social impact governance as a result of the course
  • 100 per cent of participants said the course was directly applicable to their governance role

Program alumni have developed their knowledge and expertise in leading and governing with social impact front and centre.

Here’s what some of them had to say:

“This course is absolutely brilliant and should be mandatory for all for-purpose leaders. The content is useful, informative, interesting and critical if you lead or govern for social impact. Once we’ve all done it, our collective impact will be amplified!”

“There are fundamental differences in the governance of social purpose organisation and this program is world leading in equipping Board Members to help their organisation live their mission.”

“New, innovative and contentious while being extremely relevant.”

Featured course presenter, Professor Kristy Muir, CEO of CSI, encourages leaders to attend the course particularly when they are at the stage when they want to lift their gaze beyond their organisation.

“Just like the hundreds of executives and directors who have already done the course, if you’re ready to lift your gaze and are interested in provoking and being provoked – and thinking differently – then this course is ideal,” says Kristy.

Find out more about the Governance for Social Impact course.

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