Friday, March 6, 2015

Governance toolbox: Bringing meaning, creativity into the nonprofit boardroom

A new post from a good friend provided the inspiration for this week's toolbox set.

Unbox your board!  -- Max Freund, brings one of our favorite topics - generative governance - into the spotlight in  his latest post. He makes a great case for infusing meaningful, creative work into board meetings, drawing on Chait, Ryan and Taylor's seminal work, Governance as Leadership. What makes this a perfect toolbox entry are the activities and questions that he shares to operationalize that. He doesn't just encourage us to operate in generative mode, he gives us several starting points.

7 surprisingly simple ways to improve board meetings --  I picked up a couple of new ideas reading this brief Wild Apricot article! When we hear a call to transform the way we govern, the mind frequently turns to major change initiatives. That may, indeed, end up being what is required as a whole. But the journey can start with one or two simple steps to change the way we meet and work. Much like Max's recommendations, this post offers realistic and actionable ideas for beginning that process.

The good thing about bad ideas -- Isn't the goal to minimize bad ideas in the nonprofit boardroom? What do you mean, explore those bad ideas? As a facilitator who serves boards, and observes boards, I appreciate the novel approach posed in this brief "Heart of Innovation" post. I can easily see introducing it to shake off the cobwebs, get unstuck, and begin to rethink the kind of tough challenge (or great opportunity) that boards often face. I wouldn't use it as a routine practice, but I definitely can see using this as a prompt to spark a re-assessment and open the door for new perspective(s).

10 questions you want to hear board members ask -- Some of the questions are more germane to its target audience, corporate boards, than to a nonprofit setting. But virtually all have the potential to focus board member attention on areas fostering high-impact governance performance. I'd like to point out those that feel most novel or important: (3) Are we doing committee work at the board table? (4) How will we measure success? and my favorite (5) Is this discussion in the weeds?


Max Freund said...

Thanks for the shout-out and link, Debra! This is an important topic and those other resources are great too.

I'm planning several more "toolbox" posts with ideas for spurring generative thinking and engagement, so stay tuned!

Debra Beck, EdD said...

I'll be looking forward to reading your next posts - and learning, as always, from your wisdom. Thanks, Max!