Friday, August 21, 2015

Governance toolbox: Boardroom behavior

Dan's tweet launches this week's toolbox with a reminder about the importance of values to leadership. Do you know your expressed organizational values? Your board's values? Your personal leadership values? How do your actions and discussions enact those values - and your vision of the future?

How to eliminate passive-aggressive behavior in your office -- Nonprofit board meetings are not exempt from this common organizational-dynamics challenge. Heaven knows I've witnessed it in action in that setting. Hey, I've worked my own passive-aggressive muscles in that setting, too. This Fast Company post offers board leaders, and members, examples of passive-aggressive behavior (because, author Dishman is right: we aren't always aware of the variations that can emerge in groups). Naming it is half the battle. That obvious theme is helpful. But I also appreciated two recommendations shared toward the end of the post: Bandirma's call for after-project reviews (reflection-on-action!) and Nasser's suggestion to collectively identify "high-performance member behaviors." Directing members' attention to the behaviors they want in the boardroom - and those they don't want - increases the likelihood that they will work toward fulfilling the former.

7 ways to make team meetings work today -- Number seven on Dan Rockwell's list generally won't apply to boards (though it's worthy of consideration for board committees: do they all need or deserve to live on indefinitely? Probably not). But the other six offer ideas for strengthening your time together as a team. Dan recommends a self-assessment tool, available for purchase at the link he provides. Whether you use that specific vehicle, or another with a similar purpose, I can see value in engaging your board in this kind of collective/individual exploration (especially since I caught myself thinking, "The 'TJ' in my Myers-Briggs profile was raging in that meeting...").  Pick one of these recommendations, present it to your board, and see how you might use it as inspiration to spice up your your meeting potential.

Summer 2015 issue of Great Boards explores how to implement best practices; Assess/develop effective board culture -- Great Boards has been one of my favorite resources for many years. This issue, on board culture, is an excellent example of why this is the case. The two features within are general enough - and thought-provoking enough - to spark interesting discussions about board culture.

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