As I try on my different board hats - member, blogger, educator, facilitator - in the waning days of 2012, these are the questions that feel most compelling. What would you add to the list?
- What board focus/activities will bring us - and our community - closer to our vision of a better future by the end of the year?
- How will we stay focused on that visionary work in the next 12 months (and beyond)?
- What are the unique stories that we can tell as board members, and how can we share them with the stakeholder groups that most need to hear them?
- How will we demonstrate our stewardship of community resources that have been entrusted to the agency, to internal and external audiences?
- What do we need to understand this year to govern more effectively? How will we build learning that creates and deepens that understanding into our work?
- How can we clear space for open-ended, future-focused discussions in our meetings?
- What do I want my legacy to be on this board, and what actions/commitments do I need to make in 2012 to ensure that contribution (especially for boards)?
- What do I most need, from my fellow board members and the agency, to maintain my highest level of motivation?
- With whom can I share our story, to increase community engagement with our mission and our agency? How will I make those contacts?
- What can the sector do to increase public respect, visibility and accountability of board service?
- How do we reframe the practical definition (in terms of where boards actually focus) of nonprofit governance as something more than oversight - as community and organizational leadership?
- What professional development opportunities and resources do boards need to lead, and how can we make them accessible to all?
- How can we finally frame and support board diversity in ways that are meaningful and that avoid tokenism?
- How do we help nonprofit boards own the future they are helping to create?