Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Becoming a board veteran

As I enter a new phase of my professional life and a chance to join a new (for me) community of practice, I'm contemplating my impending transition from wide-eyed newbie to active veteran member.

I'm not joining a new nonprofit board specifically, but the process (legitimate peripheral participation, in the community of practice world) is largely the same.

That has sparked for me a broader question for readers of this blog this morning:

How does your board go about not only orienting new members to their job but to truly embracing them, bringing them into the culture of the board, and supporting them on their path to becoming full, productive veterans with the capacity to lead? Please share, via comment to this post.


Elizabeth Derrico said...

We work with bar association and bar foundation boards on development issues. I believe that as part of orientation you should connect their inner/personal purpose to the work they do as a board member. It is more successful when they create their own definitions of success for serving and identify the ways to achieve that success. Having fun while creating a "we" of the mes is crucial.

Debra said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Elizabeth. I'd really love to hear about how the board/organization helps to facilitate that reflection and connection. It was such a strong theme in my research - I'm fascinated by how that process unfolds.

And because I'm a firm believer in board work being fun...

Any great examples of how a board has deliberately (or perhaps accidentally???) fostered that?