Your understanding of governance is enhanced when it is viewed through the lens of an ecosystem.
The roots represent the board's strategy, its vision and its values. To thrive, roots need water and nutrients like boards need quality information and education. Without strong and sturdy roots, what happens to a tree?
The trunk represents control; board policy and the CEO's position desctiption. The trunk is like the board's rules, limitations and directions. Without a strong trunk, what happens to a tree in poor weather?
The limbs are the CEO's business strategies and the leaves are staff and operations. Without roots or a trunk, what is your tree? Well, it's not a tree at all. It's mulch.
How many organisations can you recall that basically look like the tree in the photo?
Disease can strike a tree anywhere. In an organisation it may look like poor leadership, poor monitoring or poor management.
Adopting the Integrated Governance approach means taking an integrated look at your governance system, from how board packs are prepared with quality information, how strategy is implemented through business planning and how the board recruits and reviews their CEO (to name but a few).