Friday, June 17, 2016

Governance toolbox: Awesome boards, strategic questions, tough conversations

These resources caught my eye this week.

25 things awesome board members do -- In some respects, the "25 things" that make up this Nonprofit with Balls post set a pretty low governance bar. But little things can make a difference, especially if we actually start doing them after letting our board (or ourselves) slide on some pretty core commitments. With a list of this length, we won't all agree with every item - or at least agree that each is equally important. But this post provides a reality check that, frankly, some of our boards and board members need.

3 strategic questions to ask when board members or staff present you with a “great” idea -- Kivi Leroux Miller's "strategic questions" are valuable, whether or not they are being used to rein in (less than) great board member ideas. You know I love a great question. Here are three to engage board members in strategic thinking.

12 don'ts of tough conversations -- I found myself saying that several times as I read through Dan Rockwell's list. That's because I've witnessed, participated in, and occasionally sparked pretty much every single scenario - frequently in a nonprofit boardroom. The value of Dan's list is bringing these challenges to light so that we may identify them and feel empowered to address them the next time they arise in our group work. 

Advocating nonprofit advocacy: The myth that 501(C)(3)s can’t engage in advocacy --  While examples of nonprofits overstepping advocacy boundaries certainly exist, the theme of this post fits my direct experience: that of boards and staff leaders assuming they are prohibited from engaging in any form of advocacy. It's brief. It's concise. It's worth sharing with your board as part of a conversation about this necessary topic.

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