Friday, February 11, 2011

Overheard: Feb. 11

This week's favorite governance-related resources, courtesy of particularly rich feeds from Twitter and the blogosphere:

Future Proofing the Boardroom - Part One: Grounding and Stargazing (Lucy Marcus)

This one stopped me in my tracks yesterday when I first read it. Lucy's vivid articulation of the need for boards to recognize and value (and act upon) the dual threads of governance is powerful. The choice of "stargazing" to describe the visionary responsibilities was genius. Target audience is corporate, but the larger message (and the specifics, actually) fit a nonprofit environment well.

Future Proofing the Boardroom - Part Two: Today's Agendas
(Lucy Marcus)

Lucy's follow-up appeared in my Twitter feed this morning, so I'm still absorbing its content. But it feels like an essential next chapter to her "stargazing" post. Agendas play such a critical role in how we enact (and conceptualize) governance. The need for mindfulness about how they move boards toward their ultimate responsibilities cannot be overvalued. Pay particularly close attention to the section entitled "Balancing Continuity and Change." It not only connects to Part One perfectly, but it also addresses the inevitable concerns that arise when faced with the need for change.

The Road to Financial Strength Starts with One Board Member (Nell Edgington)

Fiduciary responsibilities of governance often frighten otherwise smart and self-assured board members. (Yes, I am one of them.) Nell's post offers a call to individual members for bravery and action. She urges us to suck it up, and to recognize that it takes only one member to embrace the strategic imperative that accompanies that for which we are accountable. She offers examples of fairly basic steps that an individual member could take to move in this direction.

Community Engagement: FriendRaising (Hildy Gottlieb)

The other governance role that most strikes fear in the heart of board members is fundraising. Hildy's book, FriendRaising: Engagement Strategies for Boards who Hate Fundraising but Love Making Friends, has been a guide and inspiration for many in the sector (yours truly included). In this newly released video, she talks about this valuable contribution that all board members can make toward ensuring economic sustainability through the relationships that an organization builds.

Recruiting Board Members? Ask for Help
(Gayle Gifford)

Gayle continues her excellent counsel on board member recruitment in this new post. She offers a from-the-field example of a successful recruitment process designed to widen the pool of potential new members by engaging others in identifying prospects that met the organization's leadership needs. It's a process that any nonprofit can easily adopt, with the same potential for results.

Successful Nonprofit Boards (Alice Korngold)

This video isn't new, but but new to me. I discovered it while capturing another section of this talk for a presentation I'm delivering today. Alice shares some thoughts about the elements that foster the greatest potential for successful nonprofit governance.

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