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Showing posts from January, 2011

The Dialogue of the Board

I ALWAYS GET A LITTLE SHIVER UP MY SPINE when a I see a board meeting agenda that is nothing more than a pro forma list of reports.  I bet you know what I mean -- after the call to order and the approval of the previous month's minutes we're off and running with a litany of updates from the president, the director, and any number of committees.  You can kind of put yourself on auto-pilot for most of these meetings.  In fact, one (at least) organization I know hands out the same agenda for every meeting.  It doesn't even take into account that a committee or two haven't met -- your committee is on there even if all you have to say is "we haven't met."  (And, yes, that shows up in the minutes!)  Please tell me what would excite you about attending that meeting if the agenda was all you had to go on? The fact is a board is a community -- a community of doers and seekers.  In order for this community to do it must seek meaning not only from facts, but from the…

Time to Get to Work

NEVER MIND THAT IT'S THE FIRST MONDAY OF THE NEW YEAR and you're still struggling with those resolutions.  When you get to your desk this morning, will you really make any changes to how you approach your work?  The fact is that you don't have to make any big changes.  After all, big change is most often made up of the accumulation of lots of small changes, sideways glances and out-of-the blue inspirations. Thanks to the good thinking of others, today I've got a manageable handful of small, sideways and out-of-the blue for you: The "Ten New Year's Resolutions for Boards" from Barry Bader's Great Boards Blog offers advice that you can put into action almost immediately.  How's this:  make a list of the board members who are your board's future chairpersons and figure out ways to get them lined up for leadership (OK, that last part is my advice).  Barry's advice is if you can't identify anyone on your current board who's willing/able t…