Sunday, August 19, 2012

12 Tips for association board/committee work

Assumption:  Reminder: board time is a non-renewable resource ... Don't let it be wasted!

So, how do we enhance the time spent in board or committee meetings?

Here are 12 possibilities:

1.      Never hold a meeting without an agenda.

2.     Agendas should have a precise starting and ending times ...
·       I normally start meetings at something like 9:59 (rather than 10) and post adjournment times as 2:59 (rather than 3).
·       My clients started referring to this as “Central Drake Time.”
3.     List mission prominently on agenda.

4.     Show strategy or work plan element of each item on agenda.

5.     Use a consent agenda ...
·       Routine items (minutes, committee reports, metrics, financial reports) can be placed in consent and assumed approved unless a director wants it added to the discussion agenda.
·        Place key strategic items at beginning of the agenda.

6.     Find time on agenda for board members to "check in" with what they are observing that relates to the association.  Some call this an environmental scan.

7.     Take time in meeting to celebrate organization victories.

8.     Words matter ... establish a culture to eliminate negative words that stifle creativity.  Enough  already of “playing devil's advocate.”

9.     Before any brainstorming, play “the yes, but game” (ask me and I’ll explain) or other similar exercises to open up minds.

10.  Ensure that board creates a self-evaluation annually.  Use a survey tool that allows them to share concerns honestly.

11.   Ensure committees have clear assignments/roles and be sure they don't overstep.

12.  Ensure board members clearly understand their legal & fiduciary responsibilities.

So, what is this list missing?  What has worked for you and your association boards?

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