What is the Council’s job?
A few weeks ago, I shared a community email that was an introduction of the Shambhala Boston Council, which is the senior governing body at the Shambhala Center. In this post, I’d like to share with you a bit about the Council’s job description.
The role of the Council is different than the role of the Board has been in years past, particularly with our entering into the Policy Governance model. In this model, the Council’s role is threefold: 1) Linkage, 2) Policy, and 3) Assessment. The descriptions that follow are short excerpts from the introduction section of our Policy Governance Manual:
While the Council governs for the benefit of its community members, the larger society and anyone who might contact this transmission in the future, it governs on behalf of the lineage. Our Governance must be grounded in the vision and aspiration of the lineage, as articulated by the current Sakyong. Council members must govern from a deep linkage with the lineage vision and values, and an understanding of how that is connecting with the heart aspiration and experience of Shambhala society.
If linkage is the ground of governance, policy is the path. Policies are governance values and perspectives, the first expression of governance. They are discrete statements of how Shambhala vision is to be expressed in the management of day-to-day affairs. So governance policies themselves are a joining of heaven and earth.
The third main role of the Governing Council is performing ongoing assessment of its mandala, an objective process of gathering and exploring feedback about the impacts we are having. Are the right things getting done? How do we know that? Are we avoiding harmful actions? How do we know that? Assessment is the third critical aspect of good governance.
The Council met recently to prepare our Policy Manual to be “activated” and made the decision that to officially begin operating from the manual at dawn on Shambhala Day, February 11.
We met a few weeks ago to approve the 2013 budget for the center, and you can expect an update on the center’s 2012 finances to be available soon.