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Policies-the Thing Boards are “Famous” For!

Early in an organization’s life, policies may not be written down. Oftentimes, the leadership is a small, close-knit group and everyone communicates well and is “on the same page.” Everyone involved just thinks the policies are “the way we do things here.” Policies have a way of developing in two ways. First it the “unconscious mode” or again “the way things have always been done.” Then there are the “conscious modes” in which policies are made as a situation arises. Ultimately, polices can best be best implemented by writing them down. Written policies accomplish the following four things:

Written policies capture the identity and character of the organization.
Many times the organization’s mission statement, purpose, values, and statement of faith can be considered policies. They reflect the nature and character of the organization, and when written down, pass these on for the next generation of leadership.

Written policies increase professionalism for the organization.
Written policies bring consistency to the organization and thus improve the professionalism. Written down policies are thought through ahead of time and are not just a “knee jerk” reaction to a situation.

Written policies improve communication.
When policies are written down everyone has access to the information as to what to do. For example, when someone from the press calls and wants a comment in response to a recent event everyone will be talking from the same page.

Written policies provide protection for an organization.
Even when well-meaning staff or volunteer might act in a way that might be harmful to the organization. Well written, laid out policies might head off any litigations for the center. Of course, once they’re written down, policies must be kept updated, available and it should be seen to it that they are followed!

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