While different in function and scope, writing a governance document is similar to writing a sound business plan in that it takes focus and organization to distill your goals into clear terms. This generally entails research, brainstorming, discussion, tracking ideas, and writing down different iterations of those ideas and evolving agreements before creating the final governance document.
Is organization something you struggle with when it comes to paperwork?
- If this is an area where you struggle, don’t worry! This is a good opportunity to strengthen your note taking and record keeping skills towards increasing your farm or ranch’s legal resilience.
- If not, then this is an opportunity for your skills to shine as you organize priorities, ideas, needs, and goals into your governance document.
Here are some tips to stay organized:
1) Find a workflow: identify a workflow that resonates with all business partner(s). Referring to existing patterns of work on the farm or ranch can be helpful here. Perhaps the person who manages the bookkeeping would be the best person to set up a physical or digital folder where that person is responsible for keeping track of notes, meeting schedules, agendas, and recording ideas and decisions generated by using this workbook? Or, perhaps each of you keeps track of different elements in a shared folder so that no one has to carry the administrative load by themselves? Or it may work best for one person to administer this process while the other(s) show up to meetings and do tasks when they’re told. Working relationships all have different workflows. Choose what works best for you and your business partner(s).
2) Choose your “paper” trail: the process of creating a governance document includes a good chunk of writing down thoughts and ideas, as well as terms of agreement. How do you want your paper trail to look? What do you need to support your thought process? Identify your preferred style below:
Paper and pen
3) Time management: While our brain power is limited, we can use this fact to our advantage. Research shows that taking a break after 30 to 90 minutes of effortful focus can improve problem solving and increase creativity. Rather than working on your governance document until you get tired of it, get strategic with your time and optimize your energy levels by taking a 7 to 30 minute break before diving back in. Assign a timekeeper to help everyone stay on track as you work through tasks together.