The best criterion for excellence and credibility is to be a shining example of the highest human values.
This same principle applies to the organisations which an individual represents. There is nothing more disheartening than to be forced to explain away the faults and foibles of the group one seeks to promote and represent. And this works both ways: there is nothing more destructive to an organization with high aspirations than to be represented by people, at any level, who don’t share those values.
1. Financial Transparency
— Essential for any charity to win the hearts of its publics.
Disclosure of all money flows, including acquisitions, investments, contracts, commitments, and salaries, is essential to give confidence to stakeholders: donors, employees, volunteers, clients, public, and government oversight bodies. Unlike commercial organisations, whose privacy requirements often disallow disclosure, a charity without financial transparency risks arousing suspicion.
2. Code of Ethics
— Best practice in all modern organisations.
A written code of ethics provides a standard against which all managers and workers can be measured. It also affirms to employees, donors, regulators, and the public as to the values held by the organisation. In many countries, written rules of conduct are a legal requirement; their absence also may constitute a legal liability.
3. Whistleblower Protections
— Protecting the organisation by protecting its best people.
When someone sees something unethical happening, this person may need an independent third party to go to. A whistleblower ombudsman will protect the anonymity of all parties as much as possible and will be authorized to conduct an appropriate investigation.
4. Skills-Based Recruitment Policies
— Building the best corporate culture.
Corporate culture is the personality of an organisation and forms the basis of all its expressed values. To ensure its stability, adaptability, integration, and continuous purification and growth, recruitment policies require special care, especially for leadership and oversight roles. For new hires, a formal introduction to the Code of Ethics is especially critical. Personnel in key positions should be evaluated regularly to assess both their performance and their support of the Code of Ethics.
5. Board Oversight of Executive Decisions
— Ensuring the expansion of leadership expertise.
Some provision for continuous evolution of expertise, even at the top, must be ensured. Since no one possesses unlimited skills in every area of management, a mechanism for guidance, oversight, and peer-level counsel must be provided for the CEO.
6. Continuous Improvement or TQM (Total Quality Management)
— Constructive feedback is the foundation of continuous improvement.
TQM is a well-tested process for ensuring continuous improvement of all key aspects of an organisation. TQM defines quality in terms of customer satisfaction, which can be measured in the TMO by rates of initiation; enrollment in advanced techniques, sidhi programs, and teacher training; and member retention. The TQM approach relies on universal personnel involvement, enterprise-wide planning, and fact-based decision making. A mandate for constructive feedback, based on structured communication within and between all levels of management, is its most essential mechanism.
More information on TQM and Continuous Improvement
Extensive material on TQM and CI is widely available, but the following two web pages from the American Society for Quality provide a clear and concise overview, plus links to considerable well-organised additional information: