Twelve Steps to Make Your Board of Directors Effective Partners
Develop a matrix of the skills, experience and other attributes you need on the board .
Establish a board recruitment, development and evaluation committee.
Select candidates carefully, interview them and let them know all requirements and expectations (including financial support) prior to electing them.
Have a thorough orientation where new board members learn about the policies, programs, budget, issues, current challenges, etc.
Put all your policies in a manual and provide copies to board members.
Establish an annual schedule of board and committee meetings and endeavor to adhere to it.
Send meeting materials at least five working days in advance of meetings.
Allow sufficient time for discussion, but stay on time schedule. No one ever complains if you end meetings early.
Review each meeting on content and process. What decisions were made? Did you accomplish everything you set out to in the meeting? How can it be done better?
Follow up with board members promptly to remind them of any assignments they may have accepted.
Conduct a debriefing with staff immediately after the meeting to assign tasks and deadlines.
Check in with board members on assignments to get a progress report and offer assistance.
This should get you started. If you think you need to learn more before you can do this work, please take a look at our workshops, where you or your staff members can learn more. If you find that you don’t have the time or staff who can take on the work, you may need to hire professional help. In that case, give us a call.
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