Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nonprofit boards: The power of changing our governance frames and questions



Sometimes, inspiration comes in the most surprising places. I clicked on this TED Talk, interested in the title topic, "The Transformative Power of Classical Music." The talk addressed that (in a thoroughly entertaining way - I highly recommend!), but Benjamin Zander's takeaway for his for his favorite subject applies perfectly to mine.

At about 16:50, Zander asks his audience, "How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought, 3 percent of the population likes classical music, if only we could move it to 4 percent?"

He then challenged his audience to change the frame and the question:

"How would you walk? How would you talk? How would you be if you thought, everybody loves classical music -- they just haven't found out about it yet?"

Can you see the major difference? As Zander himself notes, "these are totally different worlds."

In which world are your board's questions focused? I suspect that more than a few of us will recognize the first set. 

What would happen if our board framework and questions more closely resembled the second? 

3 comments:

Nancy Iannone said...

I'm glad inspiration hit! Starting my day imagining what could be possible if boards framed their work in this way.

Gayle Valeriote said...

OMG, Deb. This is great, great, great! Thank you so very much for sharing it. It fits EXACTLY in what I'm working on today, and I'm so grateful for your ongoing generosity in sharing what inspires you.

Debra Beck, EdD said...

Oh, how I love this feedback! I know the ideas are very familiar to both of you. Glad to hear that this particular framing of those concepts resonated for you as they did for me.