Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Board Summer

You may have noticed that I’ve struggled lately to keep up the posting routine that I committed to when I began this blog.

It hasn’t been a bout of laziness keeping me from my writing routine. Instead, I’ve been immersed in the topic of the Laramie Board Learning Project, spending what feels like every waking moment pondering the ways in which boards learn how to govern.

This is a critical summer in my doctoral journey. I’m developing the theoretical foundation that will help me answer the burning questions I’ve had for years: how do board members work together to create group knowledge that helps them govern better? What experiences build member commitment to organizational mission? How are boards inspired to learn and grow and increase their effectiveness? What are the primary obstacles to that kind of effort?

I’m making some hard choices about the adult learning theories that give me the best tools to research my questions. So many choices seem to contribute something to the conversation, but the right fit is my goal.

I’ll share some of my insights and emerging questions as I proceed along this journey. Being able to check my ideas against nonprofit realities is essential to me. At the moment, most of it is very, very fuzzy – and I’ve been living this for months now. I’ll spare my readers the more esoteric notions and bring those ideas that would most apply to real-life board work (and a reality check) as they emerge.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll be patient when the space between entries seems to grow. In the long run, the time I’m investing elsewhere should lead to a stronger, original voice for board development – and concrete ideas for enhancing that important practice.

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