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5 Tips to Improve Your Board's Performance

Posted By Grace Armstrong, Wednesday, December 11, 2013



Maybe after hearing a trainer eight different times it would be tempting to tune out and think you had heard it all before. No so with Chuck Loring who was our presenter at the Board Leadership Conference recently. Chuck has important and practical information to share every time I hear him speak. Here are my take-aways from the day:

  1. Treat the problem, not the symptom.When you have poor attendance at board meetings, changing the date, time, and place of the meeting is treating the symptom. It is important for board members to feel that it matters for them to attend meetings. Changing the content of the meeting to addressing critical issues and substantive matters will increase attendance and engagement of your board members.

  2. The structure of the board should not be in your by-laws.High performing boards are flexible and can respond to changing circumstances. If you describe all your committees in your by-laws, your flexibility may be limited. Keep your by-laws general so that the board may appoint committees and task forces as necessary to meet the changing needs of your organization.

  3. Do you have the right size board for where you have been or for where you are going? Things change! Boards should continually assess their performance and circumstances and determine how many board members are necessary to get the job done at the time. Bigger boards don’t always mean better results.

  4. Do you have the right board for where you have been or for where you are going?This is an even more important question. As more nonprofits have to increase their resource development activities, it is important to assess whether your board members are willing and able to help or whether new board members should be recruited who can meet the current needs of the organization. Changing board culture and membership is delicate and diplomatic work that is critical for the success of your organization.

  5. When you’ve seen one board, you’ve seen one board.There are best practices that govern board work. However, every organization is different. Your needs change over time. Every board is different based on the members, their skills, and the needs of the organization. Don’t make assumptions based on what other boards are doing. Follow best board practices and focus on the needs of your organization.

Tags:  board  board of directors 

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