Did your board make any New Year’s Resolutions? (I don’t mean the kind that say, “RESOLVED: to accept the budget.”)
I’m here to suggest that your board NOT make resolutions. Too often, resolutions end up being wishful thinking. Unless they are truly a COMMITMENT, nothing changes. So why not make a few meaningful board commitments for 2017? What needs to change about your board?
Let me make a few suggestions for some reflective questions you might ask.
- Is the board clear about who it is accountable to, on whose behalf it governs? Has it ever had this conversation?
- Do you have the right people on the board? Are they committed to the purpose of your organization? Can they think strategically and see the big picture? Are they ready to delegate operational details, within appropriate risk parameters?
- Is every board member clear about where the board’s job stops and the job of the CEO (by whatever title) job begins?
- Has the board clearly articulated the results it expects the organization to produce?
- Does the board clearly know whether those results are actually being produced, or does it just get a lot of “activity reports”?
- Does the CEO have clarity about what authority he or she has, or must the CEO play repeated games of “Mother May I” with the board?
- Does the CEO receive one set of instructions from the board, or several varying instructions from different board members or committees?
- Does the board evaluate its own performance regularly?
- Does the board get the kind of information it needs to make strategic, future-focused decisions that impact the direction of your organization?
Now that you have considered these questions, are there one or more areas that could use some improvement? What might you do so that by this time next year you will be able to say, “Our board made a real difference”?
If these questions pique your interest, we can partner with you to make change real and lasting. The commitment has to come from you. We can assist by identifying and addressing skill gaps, and helping to structure your board environment through a systematic process designed to achieve governance excellence, so your board will be able to say a year from now, “We kept our commitment. We made the difference we wanted to make.”
As a starting place, take our free Board Practices Profile to help you identify some potential areas for commitments, or contact us at 403 720-6282 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Don’t settle for average governance – move towards excellent governance in 2017!