Board Roles to Board Goals
By Jay W. Vogt
Ive found that two simple ideas consistently turn this situation around board roles and board goals. The two are linked. One drives the other, and their output is an annual work plan of board goals that both focuses and ensures board success.
Heres how it works. Ask any board what the roles of a board are, and they generally give you the same answers. Most will say boards:
The answer is board goals. After a board has brainstormed, and refined, a half dozen essential board governance roles, its easy to ask: So how are we doing? I skip the fancy board assessments, and just ask two simple questions:
The answers to the first question give you your baseline, and the answers to the second give you your goals. One board appreciated that they support their executive well, but admitted that they hadnt given her an evaluation in over three years. One board noticed that they attracted good talent through their nomination process, but then failed to orient and train the newcomers. Another noted that board members regularly gave donations, but the board itself had never set a goal for participation and giving. So each set goals for the coming year to maintain their governance strengths, and extend them in some meaningful way.
What emerges from this conversation is a set of board goals driven by board roles. Do these things and, by definition, your board is doing the right things. Who makes it happen? Look again at the six roles that most boards typically mention and youll notice that each lends itself to a committee.
The board roles to board goals conversation is a great one to have when a new president assumes office. The result maps out the new leaders agenda for the year, and ensures that the board will be doing the right things, and getting them done.
Jay W. Vogt has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts for over twenty-five years and can be reached at. firstname.lastname@example.org