Friday, August 12, 2016

Governance toolbox: Questions, vision and mission (three board success essentials)

Why, yes. I love everything about the quoted in this ABABarLeader tweet. Why, yes. It is a perfect bit of inspiration to open this week's toolbox (or any time nonprofit boards is the discussion topic). Thanks, ABA friends, for sharing this wisdom this week.

How to create a compelling vision for your nonprofit -- Speaking of inspiration - Marc Pitman's concise description of what a nonprofit vision is (and is not) is perfect. His suggestion that we think of ways to convey that vision, beyond traditional "vision statement" mode, is perfect as well. Does your board, and your organization, have a compelling vision of the future that it shares with others? If not, use Marc's advice here to begin that articulation process. If you do, consider how it stacks up to what Marc describes here. And, yes, be prepared to make some significant changes if the focus is on what your organization does. That's (potential) mission material, not vision.

Questions for the organization's skeptic -- Earlier this month, I put out a plea for favorite strategy-related resources to several expert friends. I could legitimately fill two or three toolboxes with what they shared so generously. In the meantime, I'm feeling compelled to offer this great resource (PDF file) from Dr. Terrie Temkin and her associates at CoreStrategies for Nonprofits. You know how I love a good question. This document, found under the "Resources" tab, offers a whole list with an eye toward inspiring broad, critical thinking in boardroom discussions. What a marvelous idea, don't you think? Thanks, Terrie, for providing this tool.

Spreading your mission, one moment at a time -- Depending on the room and the day, the idea of a "mission moment" is either old hat or big news when I bring it up. Because mission moments can be powerful sources of learning and inspiration, I'll err on the side of confirmation today and share this brief post by Lori Jacobwith. Her explanation of what and why is on the mark. Her how-to process is brief and manageable for any nonprofit board. If you don't already include mission moments in your board meetings, this may be the inspiration to change that.

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