ADVIS and Friends Council on Education have partnered to offer:
A 3-Year Series of
Online Governance Programs for Trustees
Each year will consist of a Fall Course with three online sessions, and a Winter Course with three online sessions. All sessions take place from 4:00-5:30 PM, Eastern Time. Trustee U is supported
by the Edward E. Ford Foundation.
Heads and Board Chairs/Clerks: Please pass this invitation along to ALL trustees and
encourage their participation -- it could make all the difference for your school!
PROGRAM YEAR ONE: 2012-2013
"Generative Conversations: The Role of Conflict in Good Governance"
Facilitated by Ginny Christensen, Strategy for Growth
Tuesdays, 4:00 PM-5:30 PM EST
October 2 – Conversations at the Headwaters of Decision Making
Online Session Dates and Presenters:
Cathy Trower – Governance Consultant, President of Trower & Trower, Inc., Research Director, Harvard Graduate School of Education
(read bio here)
The best boards understand their roles as stewards, strategists, and sense-makers. They are able to work seamlessly providing oversight, foresight, and insight.
Many trustees find thinking and working in fiduciary and strategic modes at once familiar and fulfilling. However, for many boards, generative thinking remains somewhat elusive with two frustrating outcomes, both associated with conflict. First, when trustees are not invited into generative conversations at the headwaters of decision-making – when they’re not invited into
“first-guessing” upstream when problems and opportunities are being defined and issues framed – they tend to second-guess downstream. This can lead to conflict with staff members who typically have a good handle
already on technical and operational matters.
Second, unless boards truly understand the generative mode and how to do it well, dysfunctional conflict can occur when some trustees express low tolerance for what they may see as an academic exercise at best or
self-indulgent navel-gazing at worst.
With skilled leadership, boards are invited into difficult conversations early and upstream. They learn to have productive deliberations that do not shy away from conflict but actually seek to engage convergent views on sensitive subjects that have organizational mission and values at their core. This session is about how to do
October 16: Learning from Turbulence in Conversations
Dr. Ben E. Benjamin – Founding Partner, SAVI Training Partners (read bio here)
Amy Yeager – Certified Senior SAVI Trainer
(read bio here)
- Ben Benjamin and Amy Yeager are co-authors
(with Anita Simon) of recent Amazon best seller,
"Conversation Transformation: Recognize and
Overcome the 6 Most Destructive Communication Patterns" (available here).
In the world of governing boards today, packed agendas testify to the enormity of our need to be smart
and strategic. We don’t have time to waste – thus clear and effective communication is essential to our success. Yet we’ve all had the experience, whether in the boardroom, at work or in our personal lives, of having a conversation go wrong. Sometimes important information is missed; sometimes a disturbance
may even erupt. When this happens, the all-too-human tendency is to blame the other person or the topic.
Yet the truth is usually something very different. And it’s right in front of our eyes.
In this session, Ben Benjamin and Amy Yeager will introduce us to SAVI, The System for Analyzing
Verbal Interaction. With it, they’ll help us look very closely and accurately at turbulent moments in conversations. They’ll show us how to find the unintended culprits in these situations. And they’ll give us
tools to set things right.
October 30: At the Confluence of Many Rivers
Thomas R. Gibian – Head of School, Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring, MD
J. Curtis Moffatt – Clerk of the Board, Sandy Spring Friends School, Senior Partner, Van Ness Feldman, Washington, D.C.
Priscilla Sands – President, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, Philadelphia, PA
Richard A. Hayne – Board Chair, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, CEO and Founder,
Urban Outfitters, Philadelphia, PA
A panel of Board Chairs and Heads from our schools will speak from their recent experience of navigating sometimes divergent waters to accomplish big things. (read bios here)