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The Rural Collaborative Presents Effective Board Composition. “ How to sit on a board without getting splinters” Utah Housing Coalition September 22, 2003. Discussion Overview . Why so much interest? Is there a “secret” to effective boards? Does one size fit all?

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the rural collaborative presents effective board composition

The Rural Collaborative PresentsEffective BoardComposition

“How to sit on a board without getting splinters”

Utah Housing Coalition

September 22, 2003

discussion overview
Discussion Overview
  • Why so much interest?
  • Is there a “secret” to effective boards? Does one size fit all?
  • Practical tools for “Effective Board Composition.”
  • Competing Values Model
  • How can these tools help my organization?
information overload
Information Overload
  • Abundance of information
  • Is the information being used?
  • Is anything working?

Are Boards Effective?

  • What does being effective mean?
  • How would you rate your board?
  • Does one size fit all?
practical tools
Practical Tools
  • Skills Matrix
  • Job Descriptions
  • Board Member Agreements
  • Board Member Evaluative Survey
  • Trustee Manuals
  • Competing Values Model
effective board composition
Effective Board Composition
  • What is the number one reason individuals join boards?
  • Individuals usually join boards because they believe in the values the organization embodies
  • Joining a board takes time and energy= commitment
board composition
Board Composition

Board Composition: Representation of community, constituents, a variety of backgrounds

Skills Matrix

  • Identifies areas of strengths and needs of the board
  • Board may conduct exercise on what strengths and needs exist
board recruitment
Board Recruitment

Tools used for recruiting include:

Board Member Job Descriptions

Board Member Agreements

Board Interviews

board recruitment8
Board Recruitment

Trustee Manual: clearly states expectations and responsibilities

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Historical Overview
  • Mission Statement
  • Board Member Job Description / Agreement
  • Minutes
  • Committee listings, contact information
  • Annual Report
effective board composition9
Effective Board Composition
  • Board Effectiveness:

Clear Expectations= Less Frustration

Reduces Deadwood

  • Ways to avoid deadwood:

Limit Terms

Specify Attendance Requirements

Pocket Book Test

Trustee Manual

effective board composition10
Effective Board Composition
  • Common Obstacles That Lead To Board Ineffectiveness

Time on the trivia

Short term bias

Reactive stance

Reviewing, rehashing, redoing

Diffuse authority

board sustainability
Board Sustainability

Board Evaluation: A constructive exercise that should take place annually

  • Retreats
  • Surveys
  • Informal Discussion
  • Peer Evaluation
competing values framework model robert e quinn
Competing Values Framework Model Robert E. Quinn

F

L

E

X

I

B

I

L

I

T

Y

HUMAN

RELATIONS

MODEL

OPEN SYSTEMS MODEL

Means:

Management of Individuals

Ends:

Smooth Functioning Group

Means:

Innovation & Adaptation

Ends:

External legitimacy

Resource acquisition

ORG.

FOCUS

INTERNAL

ORG.

FOCUS

EXTERNAL

C

O

NTR

O

L

INTERNAL

PROCESS

MODEL

Means:

Documentation & Information

Ends:

Stability & Control

Means:

Planning & Goal Setting

Ends:

Productivity & Accomplishment

RATIONAL

GOAL

MODEL

Means:

Management of Individuals

Ends:

Smooth Functioning Group

open systems model
OPEN SYSTEMS MODEL

Organization’s focus is EXTERNAL

Organization’s structure is FLEXIBLE

  • Staying abreast of changes in external environment
  • Fully adaptable to changes in external environment
  • Means: Innovation; Ends: External Legitimacy

The Emphasis:

  • Built on the basic assumption that continuous research, adaptation and innovation lead to the acquisition of external legitimacy and essential resources
  • Primary consideration for the board
open systems model14
OPEN SYSTEMS MODEL

How does a board function in this realm?

Innovator and Boundary Spanner

  • Strong role in developing vision
  • Intentionally works to enhance the fit between the organization and its external environment
  • Board is supportive, encouraging, tolerant of risk. It may involve itself in identifying new directions, articulate unmet needs, respond to new opportunities and challenges
  • Board serves as a liaison to important constituencies
  • Ensures the org. has adequate resources to meet purposes
  • Enhances organization’s public image
  • Board develops relationships with external constituencies
  • Board engages with staff, common committees and stakeholders
rational goal model
RATIONAL GOAL MODEL

Organization’s focus INTERNAL

Organization’s structure is CONTROL

  • Focuses on organizational accomplishment

Means: goal attainment and planning; Ends: productivity and accomplishment

The Emphasis:

  • Built on the basic assumption that clarity of direction will lead to productive outcomes
  • Primary consideration of the board
rational goal model16
RATIONAL GOAL MODEL

How does a board function in this realm?

Director and Producer

  • Board takes a lead in ensuring that expectations are clear and lead to mission
  • Board helps to develop long term strategic plans emphasizing goals and objectives and defines roles and tasks
  • Board expects clear goal setting and requires reports on progress
  • Accepts responsibility for the overall focus and viability of organization
internal process model
INTERNAL PROCESS MODEL

Organization’s focus is INTERNAL

Organization’s structure is CONTROL

  • Emphasizes standards of practice
  • Implicit assumption that without board oversight managers might behave in a manner of self- interest

Means: documentation and information management

Ends: Stability and Control

The Emphasis:

  • Built on basic assumption that routine and standardization lead to stability
  • Primary consideration of the board
internal process model18
INTERNAL PROCESS MODEL

How does a board function in this realm?

Monitor and Coordinator

  • Works to assure organizational action is aligned with budgetary restrictions and mission
  • Exercises fiduciary responsibility to provide oversight to budgeting, programming and planning.
  • Oversees structure and flow of system- information and work is coordinated properly within system
human relations model
HUMAN RELATIONS MODEL

Organization’s focus is INTERNAL

Organization’s structure is FLEXIBLE

  • Integration of individual and group into a whole,

well-focused organization

  • High standard of dialogue

Means: management of individuals; Ends: Smooth Functioning Group

The Emphasis:

  • Built on basic assumption that involvement results in commitment and that commitment results in excellence
  • Primary consideration of the board
human relations model20
HUMAN RELATIONS MODEL

How does a board function in this realm?

Mentor and Facilitator

  • Board has an obligation to orient new members and encourage training, skill development for board and staff
  • Board sees its responsibility to build capacity by providing direction, guidance and support to ED
  • Emphasizes group process, fosters openness, cohesiveness and a shared sense of purpose – teamwork
  • Embrace decision making processes that encourage group norms that tolerate conflict, promote shared knowledge, value diverse perspectives- toward group cohesion
competing values framework
Competing Values Framework
  • Group Breakout

Where does your organization fit?

What are the implications?

Is your board balanced?

what can i take back to my organization
What can I take back to my Organization?

Questions or Comments:

Carol Cohen

Rural Collaborative

(435) 940-1687

[email protected]

supporting sources
Supporting Sources

Judith L. Miller and Sue R. Faerman, Making Good Board Choices: A Competing Values Approach, The Nonprofit Quarterly Spring 2003

Competing Values Model: Robert E. Quinn, Beyond Rational Management

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