Monday, February 19, 2007

Creating Quality Board Development Experiences

I wrap up this series of needs assessment reports by spotlighting responses to questions that address the elements that make board development efforts successful. I asked board member participants to describe the level of importance of seven common training elements (from 1, “not important,” to 5, “essential”).

In this set of questions, examining the means seems to be a more fruitful process. Comparing the high and low ends of the scale , as I did with the topics questions, confirms the means findings/

Means for response to the question, “How important are the following to your experience of a training event (particularly board training),” were:

• Face-to-face – 3.61
• Lecture – 3.06
• Take-home materials – 2.85
• Role-play opportunities – 2.52
• Visuals – 2.52
• Small-group interaction – 3.4
• Ways to integrate – 3.65

I also asked them to rank eight common learning platforms as potential tools for delivering board development opportunities. Respondents could rank individual options from 1 (most attractive) to 7 (least attractive). Examining how frequently each vehicle was ranked first, second or third can give us a reasonably realistic picture of which choices might be most welcome in a board development program.

If we combine all first, second or third place votes for each option, the totals would look like this:

  • Face-to-face, multiple boards involved -- 33
  • Face-to-face, our board only -- 27
  • Electronic newsletter – 21
  • Print newsletter -- 19
  • Website -- 13
  • Listserv -- 12
  • Audio -- 12
  • Podcast – 2

We should be able to see some fairly clear connections between this information and the data reported in the previous entry, on individual learning styles. Do we also see potential for board development opportunities serving Laramie’s nonprofits? Please share your thoughts on that question via a comment – and return to read and respond to others’ feedback.

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