Saturday, January 28, 2012

Constructing a better board orientation

We know we need to do better in orienting new members of our nonprofit boards. I shared my rationale - and my general vision - for what and why in last Monday's post. But what would it actually look like?

I'm feeling challenged to translate what I laid out last week into a sample orientation process. If I follow my own counsel, I'm envisioning a basic framework that looks something like this:

Before the orientation event 

Remember, while you may schedule an event designated as new member orientation, the actual experience is an ongoing process that began in recruitment. Here is the minimum foundation that we laid out in advance of the event I'll be describing in a moment.

In recruitment:
  • The prospective member learned of general expectations of individual board members. You offered a verbal overview in your introductory conversation(s). When interest was expressed, you followed up with a more formal discussion and a packet of information that included the board member job description. If they are not already involved and deeply familiar with your organization, you've also provided them with additional information to help them better understand your mission and your work. That may be in the form of print materials. It also might be links to your website, videos, etc.
Once he/she has accepted:
  • You immediately placed into the new member's hands a copy of the board handbook or access to the electronic board portal that serves the same purpose. Yes, in advance. This gives the new member time to get acquainted with the full range of duties and the structure in which the board works. This eliminates any excuse for spending the orientation event reading the handbook's contents to participants. It also gives the new member a chance to identify questions that will drive that event and make it more germane to their early informational needs.

During the orientation event

They've accepted. They're ready to serve. Now it's time for the formal orientation event. My example is two hours long. There's nothing magical about a two-hour time frame; your orientation may be longer or shorter than that. But my arbitrary two-hour framework acknowledges the physical limits of many adult brains and bodies. You're probably holding this event at the end of an already long work day. What you're sharing isn't completely unfamiliar, but it is still "new." Don't overload them during this important group learning experience.

Welcome and introductions (20 minutes*)
  • Not just names and work affiliations. Ask them to share something that connects them to each other and the commitments they now share (e.g., "describe at least one compelling reason why you agreed to serve on this board").
The responsibilities of this board (40 minutes)
  • General discussion about roles and responsibilities, focused primarily on their questions about the job description, what's in the handbook, etc. Deepen their understanding and clarity: "What exactly does this mean?" "Give us examples of how members 'promote XYZ Agency in the community'." Highlight what you want, but let their questions drive the conversation.
The board's leadership role (30 minutes)
  • Discussion of the board's unique leadership contributions, internally and externally. Focus on their roles in advancing and protecting your vision and mission - those specific duties that only the board fulfills, by charge and practice. Talk about the critical community outreach work that they do, in their daily lives as well as in formal settings. Talk about how the board defines its own "success." Examples are critical here. While the CEO may have anecdotes to share, they must come primarily from the veteran board members in attendance (board president and mentors). This needs to be peer-to-peer.
My leadership potential (20 minutes)
  • Time to reflect, individually and then as a group, about the ways in which they want to get involved. Ask them to volunteer one or two thoughts about where they see themselves making an early contribution. Connect those ideas to the reason(s) they committed to serve. Identify how you will facilitate those first steps.
Continuing the journey (10 minutes)
  • Bring closure to the event by identifying topics that require deeper explanation or exploration. What aspects of their board service are still a bit cloudy? Where are they feeling less confident? Identify those need areas and commit to following up within the month.
  • (Re)introduce them to their veteran board mentor, who will act as their informal guide for the next six to 12 months of service.

After the orientation event

The learning journey continues. New board members need and deserve support as they begin their service and expand their understanding of the responsibilities they've assumed. What type of support you provide depends primarily on their identified needs. Following are some examples of ways to continue the learning process for new members:

  • Follow up within the week from the board president and board mentor (a must).
  • Address their identified learning need areas. How depends on the topic and level of need. It may require a more detailed session, sharing additional documentation, a tour, etc. Make sure you follow up, and that you do so in a timely manner.
  • Regular check-ins should be made by the board mentor. Don't assume the lack of a phone call means the new member has no questions. 
  • Build in ample time for questions during board meetings, a benefit for all members (and an essential part of governance). Be prepared to offer context for new members coming into existing discussions. Don't single them out, but be sure they have opportunities to clarify, question.
  • Assign new members to an active committee that fits their interests and strengths. It gives them a chance to get involved in meaningful work, in ways that are comfortable stretches for them.

I have additional thoughts about each of these areas, but I'll close this off and instead look forward to hearing your observations and recommendations.

* Scheduled times may work perfectly as outlined, or they may simply offer a suggested level of emphasis.

Monday, January 23, 2012

'Fly on the wall:' Better board orientation

If I were a fly on the wall, observing a new board member orientation unfolding in the way it should be structured, what would I see?

I knew up front that the focus of my recent interview with Renee McGivern for her Nonprofit Spark podcast would be challenging our typical conceptions of new board member orientation. I was prepared to share - and did share - observations and recommendations on the topic. I've often discussed the importance of welcoming new members onto the board in deeper and more useful ways in this space.

But Renee's "fly on the wall" question caught me slightly off guard in the moment, and it prompted a lot of post-interview thought about exactly what that better way of orienting would look like. Since I've never explored the topic here in any comprehensive way, I'm feeling challenged to articulate my vision of what that better new board member orientation would look like for a typical nonprofit.

I'd like to open with three assumptions about orientation that underlie my vision.

First, orientation is more than a single event, scheduled after a prospect has agreed to serve on your board. It began long before that 'yes' was uttered. The potential board member knows, because you've specifically outlined in the recruitment process:

  • The mission and vision of your organization and the basic programs it provides in advancing them.
  • The specific expectations of your board - not only the bottom line legal and fiduciary responsibilities but also the larger leadership roles of your governing body.
  • Their specific expectations - why you are recruiting them to serve now. Do you need their particular professional expertise? Are you interested in reaching out to new segments of the community via their connections to that community? They need to know, up front, what they are being asked to bring to the table beyond the general board member job description roles.

Second, new board members have access to the specific details needed to govern from the moment they accept. Whether it is a hard copy board handbook, an electronic board portal used to store key board documents, or some other resource, essential documents and data (e.g., the bylaws, minutes, financial statements, statistics on clients served) are readily available to them. They are smart, successful people. You do not need to spend this orientation session reading to them what they can review at their own convenience.  I'm not saying that you have no need to review some of those details in this formal setting. I'm saying do not waste precious time reciting all of those details at this induction event.

Third, no matter how open and user-friendly you make an orientation event, new members will feel overwhelmed and they will not remember everything they "need to know." You can do your part by resisting the urge to dump truckloads of details on them in one sitting, by reminding them that they have access to most of those details when they need them (e.g., the handbook or portal), and by assuring them that questions - now or later - always are welcome.

So, with all of that as a foundation, what would that fly on the wall see? I'm not sure that what follows leads naturally to a detailed agenda (though it may help me develop one for a future post). But here are my 'musts' for a better board orientation event.

New members aren't outnumbered by too many 'insiders' in attendance. At most, a two-hour event would include the new members, the board president, the CEO and the new member mentor(s). (More on the mentor later.) They already are feeling overwhelmed.  They will have one or more terms to get to know the rest of the board and staff. This session needs to be a comfortable, safe place for exploring - with their fellow newbies - what it really means to serve this agency. Confronting them with an endless parade of people, especially insiders bearing PowerPoint presentations, only adds to the anxiety and the potential for overload.

The session and its content focus primarily on the board and their roles within it. The basics aren't new, because they were outlined in recruitment. This session gives them an extended opportunity to explore what that really involves: how the board accomplishes its work (e.g., the way that the board is structured to fulfill its roles, the committees or other work groups that facilitate that work, the routines and events of the board's year). It gives them a chance to go into greater depth about what that looks like and an opportunity to see how they will go about finding their place as active members. Additional information about the organization and its work also is inevitable, but it isn't the primary topic for this session.

It connects the board's collective role, and their individual role, to the heart of the organization and its work. Too often, we focus all of our energies into describing the logistics of service - the whats and hows of being a board member. Those are essential to understanding what is expected, but they're not enough. If we've recruited well, we've attracted new members who are passionate about the work that we do. They want to connect, directly and indirectly, to the organization's success. Tell stories, offer examples, that give life to the work that you do. Make sure that some of those stories illustrate the board's role in that impact. Link their coming leadership roles to what prompted them to say yes in the first place.

More time should be devoted to new members' questions than presentations by others. Remember, they already have basic information about your organization and their responsibilities. This is a time for conversation, led largely by the questions they already have and those that will arise as you dig deeper into what it means to serve. It's also time for them - and you - to check assumptions about how this board functions as a team and a work group. I mentioned in the interview the perils of having multiple people enter the boardroom with different ideas about how how boards work. Discussing this up front, and getting a sense of how governance is enacted in this board, is critical.

This orientation event marks the beginning of the next phase of their board learning journey. When they leave this session, they should:

  • Know who has been assigned as their board mentor (and, preferably, met that person). They know that this person will serve as a peer guide, a person upon whom they can call with questions. The mentor is an additional resource who remembers what it feels like to be new.
  • Know that there will be other opportunities to learn more about specific aspects of their work and about the agency, because yours is a board where learning is valued and embedded in their work.
  • Know that you will be offering additional focused sessions on topics of concern to new members (e.g., a follow-up specifically targeting the agency's financials).
  • Know that they will have opportunities to tour the facility, if doing so was was not possible during this initial orientation.

A word about what it means to be new...

Renee and I addressed it in the interview, but I'd like to offer a brief postscript on what I hope is obvious: it takes time to move from new recruit to active, seasoned veteran. In the world of communities of practice, where my research lies, that process is called legitimate peripheral participation. Renee and I agreed that we shouldn't excuse new members from stepping up and getting involved, that we should find meaningful ways to engage them early in the board's work.

But orientation is a process, not a one-time event. We facilitate that process by demonstrating to new members that they are supported as they begin their service. We build upon that process by assigning them meaningful activities, via committees and other opportunities to serve, to demonstrate how they will contribute to the organization's success. We enhance their learning and their commitment by structuring meetings for lively, governance-focused discussions where they are always expanding their potential to lead. We give them (reasonable) time and space to find a place where they can make a meaningful contribution.

Now that I've had the chance to gather the various ideas about board orientation that have been floating in my brain for years, I think I'll try to come up with an agenda that puts what I've described here into some actionable shape that you may find useful. It's a logical next step for me, and an additional opportunity to engage you in a conversation about how we induct our new board members.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Overheard: Jan. 20 edition

Leading this week's list of favorite nonprofit governance links is a video that, I must say, left me feeling pretty good about what I've been advocating in this space for the past five years.

Connections: Award-winning boards of directors (Center for Nonprofit Advancement)

Connections - Greenbrier Learning Center from DCTV on Vimeo.

Listening to representatives of the Greenbrier Learning Center describe the innovative practices that keep its award-winning board on track sparked a series of "Yes!" and "I told you so...." responses for this viewer. It takes a bit of time to get to the substance of the interview (10 minutes in), but when you arrive you'll be treated to a description of a board that successfully focuses its energies on the important work that ties them to their motivations for service. You will hear - wait for it - about meetings that open with learning moments (I leaped from my chair when I heard that one) and that clear space for meaningful discussions by using consent agendas. The entire interview spotlights what can happen when a board is tied to what is important - to their organization, to their community, and to the board members themselves. It shows us what is possible when we engage our boards purposefully.

Quit complaining: Best practices for nonprofit board learning (Renee McGivern)

Part of me hesitates to share this one, because I'm Renee's interviewee. But the topic of this audio podcast will be of interest to many readers, and it helped me think more deliberately about board orientation processes (likely leading to my next post). We covered a lot of board learning ground in this 45-minute interview, primarily on the processes that underpin the way we orient new members to the organization and  their roles. There are a couple of ways to access this interview: via this website and via the Nonprofit Spark podcast in iTunes. Both offer download options.

Youth board members: Can minors serve on a nonprofit board? (Emily Chan)

One of my favorite nonprofit legal experts, Emily Chan, addresses a question that many boards ask: Can we include youth members and, if so, what are the issues we need to be aware of up front? Having a credible legal perspective on the question is a major service to her readers. Equally valuable is her comprehensive approach to covering a range of considerations for a board. Emily extends beyond the legal bottom line to encourage boards to look deeply at their motivations and the very real consequences of engaging youth members.

Earned income 101 for nonprofits (Gene Takagi)

Emily's legal partner, Gene Takagi, recently presented a terrific webinar on a topic that may be new to many boards - earned income. The gift to us all is this recorded version (and accompanying slides). If earned income is a part of your nonprofit's revenue, or if you're considering earned income as a potential addition to your revenue mix, Gene's presentation will help you better understand the parameters under which you can work. It's a challenging topic, made more accessible, thanks to Gene.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Visualizing a 'more ideal' board committee

If many nonprofit board committees waste members' talents and time, and drag their attention away from their governance responsibilities, because they're focusing on the wrong areas, what would an "ideal" work group structure look like?

In last Monday's post, I made a case for rethinking the way we create and use our board committees. We too often assign their work based on staff functions, then complain when they "micromanage." We also wonder why they can't find the energy for the more visionary, future-focused responsibilities that comprise governance. The connection is not a coincidence.

So what would make a more ideal committee? What areas would a more ideal committee structure cover? I have a few "more ideal" thoughts about how I would respond to those questions and acknowledge that you may have your own version of "more ideal" that brings boards and their committees closer to their ultimate responsibilities.

My "more ideal" committee:
  • Would have a charge, goals and activities grounded in the board's governance roles, not staff functions. Energy and outcomes would move the board's leadership work forward.
  • Would take a more detailed approach to fulfilling its work but still remain aspirational in focus - asking and answering big governance questions about the future, capacity, etc.
  • Would ask the question, "what does the board need to know to make the best decision possible on this," and take charge of ensuring that its learning needs are addressed.
  • Would not just report on committee findings and activities but would facilitate board-level discussions that engage members in broad group exploration of the issue at hand.
  • Would submit committee reports - especially regarding activities that have already passed - in writing, opening board meeting time for meaningful discussion (and contributing to the board's organizational history).
  • Would include staff and volunteer participation where appropriate, to foster information sharing, wider ownership of outcomes, and feeding the board's pool of prospective new members.
  • May not be a "committee," but a task force called together for a specific purpose and disbanded when the work is completed.

In the last post, I posed a few alternative focus areas for board committees. In the rest of this post, I will reintroduce those committees and suggest how they might be used to accomplish your board's work. You may have different needs and different ways of conceiving your ultimate governance responsibilities, but I offer these as an example of how we might create a different structure for doing our boards' work. Your board may have a different ways of conceptualizing your roles and the structure to fulfill them.

Community Outreach Committee

This committee would be charged with nurturing the board's/organization's relationships in the community, laying the groundwork by asking: What kinds of relationships? With whom? Why? How? It would be charged with ensuring that board members are establishing and building mutually beneficial relationships with key stakeholder groups. In some cases, board members would take the lead in making connections to stakeholders. In other cases, members would add board-level credibility and support to relationships that senior staff are building with community members and groups. Whatever the specific setting, emphasis is on the unique boundary-spanning credibility that the board brings.  The committee also must focus on ensuring that every member serving in a community ambassador role has the support and resources needed to succeed.

This committee would play a lead role in the leadership team defining and communicating a larger strategy for community outreach. It would not delve into specific public relations or marketing tasks (staff's domain, if staff exist). Rather, it would encourage members would bring in what they are hearing and seeing in their boundary spanning work and identify with the CEO the issues and opportunities to address within the context of their mission. It also would lead the board in developing any policies related to this work.

Resource Development Committee

Interpreted broadly, this group's task could be daunting. On the other hand, having one committee charged with taking a holistic approach to understanding and sustaining all of the agency's resources is healthy and conducive to more productive and effective decision making. In my "more ideal" conceptualization, this committee's charge would include funding: expanding diversity of sources, building stability - and, yes, fundraising - as part of that mix (not necessarily personally implementing the fundraising process, but ensuring that appropriate goals are set and processes adopted that lead to their achievement). Committee members also would have responsibility for board-level involvement in human resource development, primarily focused on policy development but attuned to helping senior staff ensure that paid and volunteer staff have the resources needed to succeed. I also would place policies and issues related to capital resources (buildings, investments, etc.) under this umbrella.

Yes, I realize that particular description might terrify many board members. The point is that the board benefits from a system-wide understanding of a nonprofit's resources, rather than having different member subsets working on various, isolated parts.

Accountability/Transparency Committee

I acknowledge the inherent overlap between the focus of this committee and the one just described. But I offer it as a separate entity, to not only avoid killing Resource Development Committee members, but to create a natural mechanism for the board as a whole understanding and embracing their accountability responsibilities. I see this committee as guaranteeing that the organization fulfills all reporting requirements instituted governmental (e.g., IRS and grantor agencies) and donor sources. But beyond that bottom line role, this committee would take the lead on facilitating board-level conversations about appropriate internal and external transparency and accountability to all stakeholders. It would raise awareness about a critical role that too often is ignored or confined to asking, "Is our 990 up to date?"

Board Development/Governance Committee

The previous three committees spend a significant percentage of their time tending to external sustainability issues. This one turns inward, addressing the capacity needs of the board itself.  An investment in the board's learning and recruitment needs yields results in increased member capacity to lead and serve. Among the responsibilities that would fall under this committee's charge would be: identifying and addressing the board's learning needs, planning and implementing individual member and board self-assessments throughout the year, taking the lead for the board's new member recruitment process, and serving as the board's nominating committee. The point of this committee is the board's ownership of its own learning and leadership development needs. It also holds leadership responsibility for cultivating and recruiting the new members who will help the board meet its own capacity needs.

The topics I've selected and the charges I've given each committee may feel exactly right to you, or you may have your own thoughts about focus areas for your governing body. The point is that your board will rise to the aspirations members set for themselves. Are you asking your board - and its committees - to lead as only the board can? Are you giving them work that links them directly with the reason they signed on in the first place?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Overheard: Jan. 13

This week's favorite links inspire boards to ask big questions, and offer ways to define the first steps to making them actionable.

New Year's resolutions - not goals - for nonprofit leaders (Marion Conway)

Marion asked and smart people answered. Their collective wisdom, this post, offers inspiration for nonprofit boards and senior staff. Take some time to read and reflect on their comments. They're powerful and practical.

Bringing on a new ED: It's more than a change - it's a process! (Steve McKee)

Hiring an executive director isn't something boards do every day, but it's one of the most important responsibilities of governance. Because they don't have much practice, the potential for boards to mishandle executive transition is great. This post inspires boards in this position to think beyond the single moment of hiring. It helps them understand the entire process of leadership succession and how it impacts the entire organization.

Action steps for getting your board right in 2012 (Kevin Monroe)

The dual focus on the assessment and steps to create actionable results is the obvious strength of this new post by Kevin. If you're a regular reader, you know my love of thought-provoking questions. Kevin's contributions here engage boards in the reflection needed to focus attention on their capacity and leadership needs, for this year and beyond.

No more boring meetings, please! (Jesse Lyn Stoner)

No doubt most, if not all, readers can relate to the sentiment. The default response is to redesign the meeting. Jesse Lyn asks a question that should be asked more than it is: Is this meeting even necessary? If the answer is yes, the process of clarifying that there is a purpose increases the likelihood that participants will accomplish will be achieved in the most effective way possible.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rethinking nonprofit board committees

Do your board committees make sense? Are their responsibility areas governance responsibilities, leading the group toward effective leadership on their unique roles; or are they digging into areas best left to staff?

For most nonprofit boards, committees are where the focused work takes place. A smaller group of members assumes responsibility for a facet of the board's work and, we hope, exploring options to share with the rest of the group. Ideally, they also are assuming leadership for facilitating board discussions about those issues, educating the larger group about the options and impacts on the way to thoughtful and appropriate decisions.

Used well, committees allow members to apply their existing expertise or build knowledge in an interest area while doing the background work necessary for an appropriate collective decision. They also develop members' leadership skills in a specific aspect of the board's work and potentially for the board as a whole.

Unfortunately, many committees fail to reach their full potential. And there's one major reason for that: they're charged with the wrong focus areas. They're assigned what essentially are staff functions. Do these sound familiar?

  • Personnel Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Public Relations/Marketing Committee
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Building and Grounds Committee

Yes, the board is responsible for all aspects of the organization's health and stability. They have deep interest in these (and other) aspects of the agency. They even have some governance-level responsibility in each area. But unless they are charged otherwise, these committees naturally will be drawn to goals and tasks that border on staff functions - and micromanagement.

Micromanagement is a special risk. Board members want to serve. They want to be thorough and diligent. However, it is a very short leap from "helpful" to "interfering." They naturally will gravitate toward what they know and do best. Members who have expertise in specific areas (e.g., contractors on the buildings committee or PR professionals on the public relations committee) will want to dive in and get involved in tasks that may be staff responsibilities. They may hover over staff, alienating those employees. They may even actively interfere. There are ways to participate and lead in the areas where they have applicable knowledge and skills. How they exercise them as part of the governing body is the question.

For some nonprofits, where there are no employees or where the board assumes heavy operational responsibility alongside a small staff, there may be legitimate reasons for members to take a more hands-on role. It does not absolve them of their governance responsibilities, though. They cannot ignore those leadership functions while taking on those day-to-day, management- or volunteer-level activities. They must attend to the essential duties that come with governance, first and foremost. They are legally and morally obligated to do so.

If the board leads a larger, more fully-staffed nonprofit, they should be primarily spending their energy on the larger visionary, strategic and accountability roles for which they are primarily responsible.

I'd like to propose that changing the charge of our committees - assigning them responsibility for different governance-level roles - moves the board itself closer to accomplishing what they are called to do.

What if your board's working groups looked something like this:

  • Resource Development Committee
  • Community Engagement Committee
  • Accountability Committee
  • Board Development Committee

What you choose as responsibility areas depends both on your board's general governance roles and your specific organizational need areas (which may change from time to time). Where does your organization require their leadership? That's where your committees should aim.

Aspects of the more common committees would still receive board attention (For example, resource development might cover policy development for fundraising; and community engagement would inevitably include public relations goals.). But they would cover far more, and more at the board's leadership level. It also likely that it would draw board member attention to the higher-level contributions where they will find greater satisfaction.

I think I'll stop here with this post, lay the groundwork for a larger discussion and gather your feedback on the notion. In a future post, I'll flesh out a bit further what a shift in committee focus might open up for the board, the work it does, and the impact on your nonprofit.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Overheard: 2012's first favorite posts

A gift from one of my favorite board thinkers, Alice Korngold, opens 2012 on an inspiring note and provides the centerpiece of my first favorite governance links of the new year.

Imaginary boards: The secret to a better world (Alice Korngold)

A 2006 Leader to Leader Journal article introduced me to both its author and the "duty of imagination" - and made me an Alice Korngold fan. Adding imagination to the three widely recognized legal duties of governance (obedience, loyalty and care) does more than expand the responsibility. It links board members to the heart and soul of the work to which they have committed. It also connects them to their ultimate leadership contribution (and their personal motivations for signing on in the first place): fulfilling the organization's mission. This marvelous post provides a vision of a better and more inspiring way to govern that comes from building an environment (and expectations) where imagination is an integral part of board work. I've added it to my "board essentials" bookmarks and will be sharing this one widely. It's already a governance classic.

January 1, 2012: Relationship resolutions (Steven Klass)

Building and nurturing relationships that create and sustain support for the nonprofit and its mission is one of the most unique contributions board members can make. Those relationships may be with external audiences - donors, policy makers and potential supports from their peer circles. They may be internal - including fellow board members and the executive director. Most of all, they have opportunities to engage in fulfilling work that connects their motivations with the agency's needs. In this post, Steven Klass inspires us to take a moment to reflect on the relationships we have developed, or might develop, to build our nonprofits' capacity to advance their respective missions.

1 key for nonprofit leaders to accomplish your 2012 goals (Kevin Monroe)

Kevin offers only one resolution for boards and other nonprofit leaders to consider as we enter 2012: define/affirm your "big hairy audacious goals" (Jim Collins concept) advancing your vision and mission, and then find those smaller steps that make them achievable. What are those smaller steps that not only center your attention on those larger aspirations but also move you closer to them? We all know how daunting it can be to think about a mission that we may never see fulfilled in our lifetime. That doesn't mean you abandon it. You commit more deeply to that purpose and then find meaningful ways to move it forward, one step at a time.

What's on your board's first meeting agenda for 2012? (Anne Ackerson)

Governance involves a broad scope of responsibilities, but the hub of activities that fulfill them is the board meeting. We can't afford not to continue the conversation about improving the ways in which those meetings unfold and focus the board's attention on the critical leadership work with which it is assigned. One of the reasons I love Anne's work - and this particular post - is that she addresses big questions in practical ways. In this case, she's encouraging us to reflect on how we've been conducting business and our aspirations for the future (both immediate and long term) and adopt strategies that replace the less-than-effective ways in which we conduct our work in meetings.