Policy Governance

Policy governance is a process by which the board exercises oversight of the general manager. In policy governance, the board of directors proscribes a set of boundaries outside of which the general manager is not to operate. Adherence to those policies is monitored at monthly board meetings through monitoring reports written by the general manager, which demonstrate compliance by the use of data and industry standards.

In other words...

Policy governance is like giving a child a ball. You don't give a child a ball and tell them all the ways they can play with the ball. That would stifle creativity. Instead, you give a child a ball and give them certain boundaries for playing with it (“Don't play with the ball in the house, and don't throw it at your sister's head.”). These rules can be adjusted if more boundaries are needed (“I know I said not to throw the ball at your sister's head, but you also should not throw it at any other person's head”).  So, through policy governance, as long as the General Manager is staying within the boundaries that the Board has established, they may use their full creativity in realizing the Co-op's goals.

ELFCO Policy Register