Friday, July 15, 2016

Governance toolbox: Engaging our boards via storytelling, planning, engaging, (& big convo)

There's a minor storytelling theme embedded in this one, along with a conversation starter and a great groups tip. Enjoy!

Sample board annual work plan and calendar -- You need to sign up for Rebecca Davis' email newsletter to access this tool. But once you do, you'll receive two tools: the user-friendly plan template, in Excel, and Davis' wisdom via the newsletter. This tool makes the process of laying out a road map for the year fairly simple. Many of your boards will appreciate this one.

Beyond storytelling: StoryLIVING with Tammy Zonker -- In this Amy Eisenstein video interview, Tammy describes ways to bring your organization's stories closer to those who need to hear them. The specific focus is donors (a help to board members engaging in that outreach work). But it's also a process that can inform board members themselves and deepen their own commitment by drawing them closer to your mission and your work in authentic ways.

9 sources for inspiration for nonprofit storytelling -- Continuing the storytelling track, this post by Ellie Burke offers exactly what the title promises: nine types of stories that exist within a nonprofit, ready to be discovered, articulated and shared with others (including your board). Some will be more obvious than others. All offer a spark for thinking and conversation, with staff and board, about ways to illustrate your impact more powerfully.

The new work of the nonprofit board -- This Harvard Business Review article, and the concepts behind aren't "new;" but it popped up in my Twitter feed this week. This, my friends, is important reading. It calls on us to rethink what we consider to be "board work" and board relationships with others (e.g., the CEO) responsible for leading, creating, and evaluating impact. Two of the three authors, Barbara Taylor and Richard Chait, developed the revolutionary Governance as Leadership framework. The arguments made in this article are part of the foundation of that model, starting with shifting where we focus board attention and energy. You and your board need to have this conversation - and it should not be a one-time event. It represents the essence of governance for impact.

How to handle the person who talks too much - validate and hear from others -- Craig Freshley is such a non-stop source of practical group-dynamics/effectiveness information and inspiration (tools!) that I'm finding that I have a hard time deciding which to spotlight. This one felt like a must: a quick (video) tip on how to handle that person who simply won't stop talking. The specific recommendation for how to handle that sticky situation - one not uncommon in nonprofit boardrooms - will be of value to board chairs and committee leaders. Perhaps of equal value, because this should be a common-sense notion, is the validation that he offers us for actually identifying and dealing with this potential conversation killer.


Craig Freshley said...

Hi Debra, I want to compliment you on your good curating of resources for boards. The HBR article noted above on "the new work" of the nonprofit board is fantastic. Also, I am so delighted that you are finding Good Group Decisions resources helpful for your readers! In light of your comments above I have pulled together a handful of my Tips that might be most relevant for boards - just a few as a place to start. Here they are:

Three times considered:
Oh behalf cautions:
Let things die:
Rules and relationships:

Enjoy and thank you!

Debra Beck, EdD said...

This is a tremendous gift to readers, Craig! Thanks for these recommendations - and for your continued willingness to share insights and practical tips. What a valuable resource!