Life's included several late-week detours lately, so it's been awhile since the last time I shared a few of my favorite nonprofit board links. Of course, that ultimately means that I'm drawing from a larger - hopefully more powerful - pool of possibilities in this catch-up edition.
You've got to know when to go (Lucy Marcus)
And what a place to start! Lucy prompts us to confront what many may find hard to do: admit that it may be time to step down. I know, I know. It's hard enough to recruit and retain good board members. It's downright painful to let go when you do find that right fit. But there are many healthy reasons to separate, reasons that are as important for the board as it is for the individual member. Lucy makes a critical case for asking the tough questions and having the courage to admit when the time for a change is needed.
The six most powerful questions to enhance your board's strategic awareness (Steven Bowman)
I really need to share this one with my class later today... Thinking strategically, asking the big (and occasionally challenging) questions, digging deeper, anticipating all potential tangents - those are the activities that engage board members where their unique contributions can best be made. Steven's six questions are destined to spark the kinds of meaningful discussions that boards are supposed to have, on a regular basis.
The identity trifecta: Mission, vision and what? (Kevin Monroe)
After the last couple of posts, my attraction to this post by Kevin should be pretty clear: our organization's vision, mission and values are necessarily intertwined; and the board has a unique responsibility for guarding the "trifecta." The board also needs to live all three in its work and its leadership.
Demonstrating board leadership with Facebook (Marion Conway)
The headline alone should make you want to check out Marion's recent post. We already know (or should know) that the board's ambassador role is a high-impact one. Board members have a different kind of credibility and an extended reach to other community leaders that staff alone could never create. Stretching their thinking, to include appropriate sharing of messages in their social media circles, is important. As their voices and credibility grow in new venues, so too does their opportunity to engage others in different ways. It's a great way to shake things up a bit for the board members, and a way to expand your pool of potential supporters exponentially. Facebook was a primary focus of this post. I'd expand it to include the broader range of social media outlets where your board members are already present and where that new supporter base may already exist.
Must-read nonprofit board resources (Debra Beck)
I've been mesmerized by the exploding popularity of Pinterest, a new social networking tool that is capturing the attention - and time - of a growing mix of individuals and organizations (including many nonprofits). This board is one of my first attempts to try Pinterest in a way that makes sense to me and the audiences to which I try to appeal. Here I capture some of my favorite resources targeting the needs of nonprofit boards. At the moment, books and blogs dominate. It will expand as I become more comfortable with the site and (re)discover favorites that I'd like to share with you in one setting. Click on an individual "pin" to go to a link with more information.