Friday, March 9, 2012

Overheard: March 9 edition

Here are my weekly list of favorite links related to nonprofit governance.

Passion vs. competency (David  Styers)

Obviously, this isn't an either/or prospect for boards. That said, this post offered this reader a gentle reminder that both are critical. Not that I didn't already know that - and reinforce that regularly, here and elsewhere. But since I tend to err on the side of over-emphasizing the passion component lately (because I most often see it being ignored or minimized), this was a timely reality check.


The 7 habits of highly ineffective foundation boards (Phil Buchanan)

The focus, and the supporting specifics, may target foundation boards; but the general principles can be adapted or expanded to any nonprofit governing body. Regular readers won't be surprised that I gravitated toward number seven (over-managing and over-scripting meetings). Number three (living in the "foundation bubble") intersects in part with the board's boundary-spanning roles that I've addressed elsewhere.


Do you have what it takes to admit failure? (Celeste Dennis)

That this post made the favorites list might surprise. It has no direct connection to governance and it doesn't come with ready-made lessons to adapt to your board setting. But the questions posed, and the general concept, indeed carry wisdom for our nonprofit leaders. We don't like to admit failure. We like to discuss it even less. Boards and those who serve on them could find value in reflection on this topic. (Hint: You may see a post to that effect in the not too distant future.)

Nonprofit strategic planning: Useless or priceless? (Kevin Monroe)

In this post, which I understand is the first of a series, Kevin encourages us to be mindful of the motivations behind strategic planning efforts - and to see the distinct limitations of some of the most common. I had a few flashes of recognition from my strategic planning past; I suspect you will, too.



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