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Understanding Boards. Building Connections: Community Leadership Program. Improving Lives. Improving Texas. Sieverdes and Hardwick.

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Understanding Boards

Building Connections:

Community Leadership Program

Improving Lives. Improving Texas.

sieverdes and hardwick
Sieverdes and Hardwick
  • Our population demographics are changing and the pace of social change is increasing Everyone demands accountability. Our … organization boards must change to reflect these local interests and concerns. It is important that board members share a similar concept of the organization’s vision and dream, how it plans to accomplish that dream and how it will reach defined goals effectively.
  • Develop knowledge of trends affecting boards and their management
  • Be able to develop and assess organizational plans
  • Learn about ways to structure board activity
  • Become aware of ways to assess board effectiveness
drivers of change in boards
Drivers of Change in Boards
  • Generational and Demographic Trends
  • Governance Trends
  • Operation and Liability Trends
  • Finances and Fund-raising Trends
  • Ethics, Image, and Public Relations Trends
  • Specialization and Collaboration Trends
  • Technology and Data Management Trends
generational and demographic trends the potential of generation x for boards
Generational and Demographic Trends:The Potential of Generation-X for Boards
  • Gen-X members are engaged in a wide variety of activities with a short attention span.
  • Gen-X focus on entrepreneurship that includes few constraints.
  • Gen-X shows greater acceptance of diversity and improved racial and ethnic relations
drivers of change in boards1
Drivers of Change in Boards
  • Governance: Boards are focusing less on show-and-tell reports about programs during meetings and more on action-oriented discussions.
  • Operation and Liability: Boards are getting smaller. This increases the level of individual responsibility and impact.
drivers of change in boards2
Drivers of Change in Boards
  • Finances and Fund Raising: Strengths and commitments of board members are changing from respected families, key personalities and traditional community leaders to business and political and individuals with the financial means or the ability to direct financial support to the organization’s programs.
  • Ethics, Image and Public Relations: Boards are moving from an internal board-oriented focus to external relationships, from informal to formal relations and structures.
drivers of change in boards3
Drivers of Change in Boards
  • Specialization and Collaboration: Boards are moving from stand-alone models to collaborative relationships as the focus become more client-oriented. This clarifies special functions, roles and niches in the provision of services. It also addresses overlapping interests.
  • Technology and Data Management: Boards are relying more on electronic mail and conference calls to communicate, disseminate and exchange information for decision-making, reports and agenda items.
board planning
Board Planning
  • Keep Plans Simple!!
  • The Urge Is to Make Plans Complicated
board planning key guidelines
Board Planning: Key Guidelines
  • Set broad policy directions based on the values and goals of the organization
  • Analyze global, national, and regional trends that affect the organization.
  • Identify local strengths and opportunities, particularly in relation to other organizations.
  • Select a few key issues.
board planning key guidelines1
Board Planning:Key Guidelines
  • Conduct further analysis of external and internal factors
  • Develop goals, objectives and strategies
  • Develop a plan of action.
  • Evaluate, modify, and update the plan.
structuring board activity size and tenure
Structuring Board Activity:Size and Tenure

Board Size Policy Suggestions

Public Boards are most effective with 5 to 7 members and Nonprofit Organization Boards are most effective with 8 to 12 members, but there is no magical number.

Suggested Policies Regarding Tenure

Proposedlength of a single term is three years.

Proposed number of allowable consecutive terms is two terms.

structuring board activity governing more and managing less
Structuring Board Activity:Governing More and Managing Less
  • Develop a strategic plan and adhere to it.
  • Link the current agenda to the strategic agenda.
  • Monitor the success of the organization’s initiatives.
  • Develop clear expectations and a plan of action for the board of directors.
  • Direct the executive director to prepare strategically.
structuring board activity governing more and managing less1
Structuring Board Activity:Governing More and Managing Less
  • Structure meetings to direct the board’s attention to matters of policy and strategy.
  • Develop and use a consent agenda.
  • Determine priorities and organize the agenda accordingly.
  • Assess the performance of the board on a regular basis.
assessing effectiveness how to know board membership works
Assessing Effectiveness:How to Know Board Membership Works
  • Devote time, attention, and consistent effort to board recruitment and retention.
  • Be honest in discussing the issues.
  • Build relationships that foster trust
  • Look for skills as well as attributes in prospective board members.
  • Engage new board members in meaningful activities based on their skills, talents, and interests.
  • Follow sound development practices to create a positive working climate for all board members.
assessing effectiveness how to know the board works
Assessing Effectiveness:How to Know the Board Works
  • Legal Responsibility
    • Recognize the board’s legal responsibility to the organization and constituents.
    • Uphold the public trust.
    • Plan, manage and take steps to reduce risk to the organization, its personnel, and its constituents.
assessing effectiveness how to know the board works1
Assessing Effectiveness:How to Know the Board Works
  • Fiduciary Responsibility and Financial Management
    • Understand the board’s fiduciary responsibility.
    • Maintain a financially sustainable organization.
    • Maintain financial assets in compliance with legal codes.
assessing effectiveness how to know the board works2
Assessing Effectiveness:How to Know the Board Works
  • Policy Formation and Planning
    • Focus the board’s attention on issues that matter most to the organization in the short-term and long-term. Focus time and attention on issues important to stakeholders and constituents.
    • Ensure that the board has the appropriate information needed to make informed decisions about key issues in a timely manner.
    • Has the confidence to take risks or allow risks to be taken by staff.