Creating Excellence in Board Leadership

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where Does Success Begin?

Every organization exists to make a difference. Whether founded by an individual or group, just read the mission statements they post and you know it’s true. That said; where do you begin the task of crafting a culture of empowerment where accelerated progress and achievement are realized? As important as a good business plan is, that isn’t the starting point. Begin with the board. Virtually every not-for-profit organization or publically traded company is required to have one. Business cannot be done without one.

Sadly, many boards are tolerated by management. Frequently, boards find themselves spending inordinate amounts of time reacting to efforts of others. Meeting agendas are recurrently filled with trivia. Board members routinely question the value they deliver to the organization resulting in a loss of interest, absenteeism, dissatisfaction and frustration. Plagued by a fear of losing their sense of value to the organization or abdicating their fiduciary responsibility for the organization, board members react and seek to take control. In doing so, they unintentionally restrict progress toward mission achievement.

Do responsible boards have other options? Indeed! Consider the following thoughts. Good boards:

Define their role in writing; a role that is different than management
Agree to operate with high ethical standards; the core for unity and trust
Craft clear mission and vision documents; these provide long-term direction
Empower key leaders in management; a means for accelerating progress
Structure limits for management; a path of protection
Evaluate their own performance; a process for improved leadership
Make decisions via consensus; it eliminates winners and losers

Logicboard offers an innovative and highly successful model for board leadership and governance. It brings detail and coaching to the items listed above. Contact us today for more information.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Pattern Among Ineffective Boards

Did you know that there are 1.4 million not-for-profit organizations in the United States, commonly referred to as a 501 (c) 3? What an astounding figure. They include benevolent associations, colleges and universities, churches and more. By law each of them is required to have a board (e.g. directors, trustees, elders, church council) that has the fiduciary duty of governing the organization. But few do it well. In fact, a significant portion of them are struggling in their efforts to be effective. Why?

Look at this list of items. They reflect a pattern among struggling, ineffective boards.

Agendas are too full; often crammed with time consuming trivia
Meetings are too long; often focused on activity rather than results
Results from those long meetings are minimal; often unsatisfactory
Frustration and absenteeism are acute
Internal politics thwart unity and impede progress
Role of the board vs. management is unclear
Conflict between board and staff
Board leadership is reactionary, seldom pro-active
Qualified people are reluctant to serve

These items reflect a traditional style of board leadership. While they are not wrong, they are strongly inadequate for advancing organizations in a culture whose landscape is changing by the month.

Logicboard offers an innovative and highly successful model for board leadership and governance. It brings a positive resolve to the items listed above. Contact us today for more information.
PO Box 5010 Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone:309-275-9734 or 309-287-0834