The week brought several share-worthy posts from a variety of sources. Here are a handful of my favorites.
Nonprofit boards: On saying no to problem board members (Alice Korngold)
We've all been there. We've all been distracted and frustrated by the drama that this person brings to an already challenging job. And probably most of us have kept quiet, suffering silently because we simply didn't have the options - or courage - to deal with the issue head on. Alice reminds us that we do have the capacity, and the responsibility, to deal with disruptive board members. She rightly reminds us that is the board's job, not something we push off onto the ED.
Build a board that advances fund development (Sarah Fischler)
I appreciate Sarah's focus on board culture as much as the context of board roles in fundraising. Too often, experts who write for nonprofit boards take the overly simplistic approach of boiling responses to complex governance challenges into "X easy steps to..." Engaging board members appropriately in fundraising is important. Creating a culture where they see why and understand how they can contribute to the organization's success in capacity building via this work is even more critical (and has the potential to create a more thoughtful, rich environment for engaging in the entire governance process).
Alternatives to strategic planning (Jan Masaoka)
One of myriad reasons so many of us hate "strategic planning" is the tendency to translate that into tedious, goal-by-goal "write a plan..." processes. If you're expecting that of your board, you're wasting both members' time and their ultimate value to your nonprofit. Jan offers several great alternative approaches to visualizing and discussing issues that matter and that have the potential to actually move the agency closer toward fulfilling its mission (and make participation more meaningful for all). You'll be totally unsurprised to hear that the "strategic learning agenda" resonated for me.
The truth about boards: Slides and handouts (Jamie Notter)
Jamie gets right to the point in a post that give us access to resources created for his Great Ideas Conference 2011 presentation. It's based on his recent article written for the ASAE's Associations Now magazine.