In my last post, I wrote about what seems to be the political “bog” we are in as a nation. It appears polarization continues unabated. We seem indeed bogged down. It’s nowhere more obvious in the war of hyperbole about healthcare reform. The new congress and administration feel compelled to sound as if all dimensions of the Affordable Care Act are catastrophic – though clearly that’s not the case. They want to return to many of the pre-Obama care realities. From all major studies done over the last 20 years, it has been clear that the U.S. health system was broken before the Affordable Care Act. It has been well established that among developed countries we have some of the highest healthcare costs but not the best healthcare outcomes. On the other hand, the Democrats insist that all of the ideas being advanced by the Republicans will result in a catastrophe and make America sick again. Clearly both perspectives are exaggerated for political purposes. Nonprofit boards in the social services and healthcare sector are trying to navigate in the context of this bog. This era requires that boards and executives together breathe deeply, suspend assumptions, pause before reacting, and reflect on deeper convictions. We need more sense-making in our nonprofit board rooms. This is particularly important as we consider strategies that often represent some tension or even conflict between values or principles deeply held.
How are you as a board taking time to pause, reflect and make sense of the challenging opportunities you face and often the implicit tension between values represented in the options you face?