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Showing posts from November, 2010

Fostering Good Board Ideas

IN HER RECENT BLOG POST "Where good (board) ideas come from", Debra Beck links to a great video (you've just got to watch it) and poses the questions "Do we nurture breathing room and value insights shared amidst the rush to check reports off the agenda? Do we foster opportunities for good ideas inside board members' heads to make it to the surface so they can be connected?" Thoughts of inspirational discussions and deep-diving into issues that were cut short by a too-full agenda and not enough time came flooding over me as I read Debra's post.  Yes, I've been in those situations and I look back on them with mixed emotions knowing that some great conversations will never be rekindled and some organizational energy was lost. So, how can we build in time for idea generation, rumination, and synergy at the board and staff levels?  Here are some of my thoughts: It's counter-intuitive, but the space to spark and nurture ideas needs to be planned.  We…

An "Aha!" Moment in Strategic Planning

WHEN DO "AHA" MOMENTS COME FOR YOU?  If they rolled up on your doorstep with unfailing regularity, you'd take them for granted.  They wouldn't elicit an "aha!" at all.  But real "aha" moments, for me at any rate, come after stretches of concerted problem-solving and reflection.  They more often occur as a prolonged unfolding of understanding rather than in one flash of insight. So it was with a strategic planning committee I'd been working with for months.  Our regular meetings were moving well through the obstacle course of mission refinement, goal development and strategy creation.  But it wasn't until we were buried knee-deep in strategies and tasking that some very forthright conversations started to take place. As the morning fog lifts from the landscape, this team began to articulate  -- as a group -- that its resources for at least the short-term had to be spent on strengthening its organizational core.  Board and staff development, a…