Coronavirus content – good governance in a crisis

AIM Consultants Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge of HBRL Consulting, expert advisors on charity and museum governance, have shared their advice on good governance in a crisis.

In this critical period, the director, staff and volunteers need the board to provide clear, measured and supportive oversight of the difficult actions and decisions required. In return, the board needs the director to share regular updates about the challenges being faced and the changing situation. 

What does the director need of the board?

  • Be present, paying clear attention to the museum
  • Understand the context and what the museum is facing
  • Be prepared to make the hard decisions with the Director, where required
  • Make an objective and well-informed appraisal of risks and opportunities
  • Recognise the stress under which all staff and volunteers are working – demonstrate generosity of spirit
  • Be prepared for major adjustments if needed e.g. rescale, merge, even close.

What does the board need of the director? 

  • Assurances about basic compliance
  • Constant updates on the changing financial situation
  • Update on staff morale
  • Transparency about the challenges being faced by the museum
  • Future focus, options for the new normal.