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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Caretaker Board: Anchoring Stability or Rusty Anchor?

IS IT ENOUGH FOR A NONPROFIT BOARD'S primary focus to be protection of the status quo?   It's expected that every board will take care of the organization entrusted it.  There's a definition for what care means in this instance -- it's commonly expressed as the duty of "care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances."  Many will argue that in times of economic or societal stress, the best defense of a nonprofit is to hunker down and shepherd the resources -- to, in fact, take extra care.  By this definition, taking care is an active and positive (indeed, critical) quality of a vigilant board. The benefit of a board's prudence gets lost when that board slips into passive management of an organization's affairs.  This board -- the caretaker board -- has become comfortable with the safe harbor of complacency.  It's best at protecting its past achievements and preserving the reality it has crea…