News & Insights

I am a visual learner. I'm glad my daughter is a visual learner, too. When I finally figure out how to do her math homework, I might be able to explain it in a way that makes sense to the both of us.

Visual learning can take place in governance too. For example, In Trust has written quite a bit about the value of dashboards for governance. Dashboard is a good metaphor — very visual — and many schools have taken the idea to heart, creating systems that gather critical information in one place so that seminary leaders can quickly assess the health of their school.

The dashboard of a car can tell you a lot — fuel level, speed, air temperature, tire pressure. The one thing it can’t tell you is where you’re going. For that we need another metaphor. Randall Basinger, provost at Messiah College, has just the thing: GPS, or governance positioning system.

In an article that appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of In Trust, “A clearer view,” Basinger imagined for us a digital tool for “guiding the faculty, president, and board through the apparent morass called shared governance.” This gadget would not only walk someone through the process of seeing certain projects from start to finish, but it might even prioritize tasks by deadlines and complexity.

Alas, no spry young start-up genius has jumped on the idea since Basinger proposed it in the pages of In Trust. But no matter — he offered an elegant solution: a color-coded governance diagram. It looks a lot like an org chart, with a focus on offices and roles.

I can imagine myself using such a tool, preferably laminated. Then with a dry erase marker, I could easily map out a course to illustrate the route a certain strategy needs to follow to be implemented. In particular, Basinger found it useful to help members of the board’s Education Committee see how decisions move through the corridors of governance.

Click on the image for a PDF of the visual, and read the article for more on how to use this handy tool.

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The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Called to the Chair: Board Leadership for Unsettled Times


Dr. Rebekah Basinger addresses the opportunities and challenges that come with chairing the board of a theological school, which include how to design effective board meetings, enhance board member engagement, and develop the board for long-term effectiveness, while giving attention to the board chair and president partnership and the critical importance of call in both roles.

Stakeholder Management Planning


Every organization should be prepared with a plan that establishes specific communication goals for key stakeholders in order to ensure the success of its programs, initiatives, or ongoing communication strategy. In this webinar, Josh Peskin, Ph.D., an expert in organizational communications, will walk through the elements of developing a stakeholder management plan to help you engage with your audiences in a more effective way. Click to view.

Conflict + Crisis: Navigating the Shoals Part 1


Presenter Donna Alexander, President & CEO of Advoxum Global Strategies, offers best practices for navigating conflict and crisis. She examines the crucial elements of defining conflict and crisis, identifying, and prioritizing affected stakeholders, utilizing effective communication strategies, and ultimately, executing a plan of action.

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