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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 recruitment1
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 composition1
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 composition2
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 model1
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 model1
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 model1
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 model1
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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