Friday, March 11, 2011

Overheard: March 11

It's time to share this week's favorite links to ideas with the potential to inform or expand our thinking about nonprofit governance.

Increasing civic reach (Stanford Social Innovation Review)

If I could require a reading for all nonprofit boards this week, this would be it. Paul Vandeventer not only provides a name for the boundary-spanning leadership role (civic reach), but he also offers markers that help to put that concept into terms and actions that board members will grasp and, hopefully, embrace. This represents one of the unique responsibilities of governance that too often gets lost in the monitoring work. Both are critical roles; this one is likely to be one of the more motivating.

Why mission matters - The Bullseye Principle (Kevin Monroe)

Okay, I'm assigning two readings for the week. I can't resist a powerful post on the value of mission, and Kevin has provided exactly that in this latest post. It all begins with mission. It ends with mission. The bullseye is our mission. In this post lies a significant opportunity to reflect on how we maintain that focus.

Our boards must understand how they operate (Core Strategies)

I recognized more than a few boards - and myself as a board member at times - in this post. Clueless boards, and clueless board members, are more common than they should be. Are you asking the questions you need to ask to govern effectively? Do you know what the board needs to know?

How to tell if you have a bad board (Eric Lanke)

Some of us may see ourselves or our boards in the list of potential signs of a bad board. We may have our own warning signs to add to Eric's list. The value of this post is that list: while every one should be obvious to us, the press of daily board tasks (and the inevitable big and little crises that arise) can sway our attention from the important markers that alert us to potential trouble.

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