When planning and enacting their strategies, firms need to consider a wide variety of factors. Both internal and external. As well as positive forces and negative ones. Today, we examine a three-dimensional policy cube. The cube focuses on not-for-profit organizations. However, it may easily be adapted for profit-oriented firms.


Not-for-Profit Organizations: A Three-Dimensional Policy Cube

For the following discussion, we turn to information from Garry Pearson. He serves as a not-for-profit governance and policy consultant:

Despite the emphasis on the evaluative role of non-profit board directors in most governance models, the evaluation of governance policies generally relate to the use of output or outcome measures. Monitored on a strategy ‘dashboard’. These approaches help to answer questions of whether or how well an organization reached an objective. However, they may not allow improved understanding of the reasons for ‘governance policy failure’. Offer ‘diagnostic insights’ as to whether that failure occurred by design or as an implementation problem. Or indicate the involvement of both aspects. Understanding the reasons for policy failure should ensure that future strategic planning and execution are carried out more effectively.

A model which struck me as being readily adaptable to non-profit policy governance was developed by Bob Hudson, David Hunter and Stephen Peckham from Kent University. Their paper, Policy failure and the policy-implementation gap: can policy support programs help? outlines four major types or causes of policy failure. Along with policy types and policy support.

Now, look at the policy cube.

A Three-Dimensional Policy Cube



We present their model schematically below. Which outlines their analysis of the forms of support required to achieve improved policy design. Monitoring, impact. And learning. Policy tracking measures include performance monitoring (which accommodates dashboard perspectives). In addition to  problem solving and progress assessing measures. Implementation support measures are outlined in relation to managing and regulating, problem solving, and capacity building perspectives.

Most non-profit boards use a policy on policy making and review. But often, these governance policies tend to emphasize updating existing policies. Because of out-of-date compliance references. Or the need to adjust delegation limits. From my observation, few adopt evaluation models or approaches which promote diagnostic insights into policy failure.

A Three-Dimensional Policy Cube

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