Your Board

You can find lots of books with standard Board-building advice. I decided to do something different here and focus on the...

Power dynamics of Boards.

Get them wrong and you've got trouble. Get them half right, not bad. Get them really right and you'll have people on your Board who you love working with.


1.  Get what you need, nothing less
Say you've built a picture-perfect Board. You've got an A+ committee structure. You've got a detailed job description for Board members. But what difference does all that make if they're still a time suck and don't give you what you really need?

2.  Recruiting on your terms
Getting real in your recruitment conversations is what gets you great Board members.

3.  Firing a Board member with grace
Got someone who's dragging the organization down? He's into mean-gossip or tantrums or non-stop negativity? Do you have to wait till the end of his term, one year, two years, to get rid of him. Or wait till he's drive out the great Board members? Why not have a culture where you can exit a problem Board member quickly?

4. Calling the question about fundraising
What happens when you ask your Board to raise money? Do they get their backs up? Do they change the subject? Do they find fault with you? Turn the situation to your advantage.

5.  Time for a serious upgrade?
If your Board is dysfunctional, forget Roberts Rules and think politically. Call on your allies. Use organizing strategies to turn things around.

6.  Governors, watchdogs, or champions
What do top-performing organizations need? Champions.

7.  Status issues: trouble ahead
A Board member is pushing for something off-mission or destructive or just plain nuts. Why does the rest of the Board sit silently? And why do some people get more attached to status than to service? When it comes to mission discipline, don't you want Board members who are exemplary rather than exempt?

8.  ED evaluations: protecting yourself
Boards fail top-performing EDs by not giving them their annual evaluations. You deserve to have your good work documented formally and legally. You deserve the acknowledgment and sometimes it turns into a matter of self-defense.


© 2012  Rich Snowdon