THIS WEEK, NONPROFIT CONSULTANT MARION CONWAY is running a series of articles on her blog about the importance of board retreats. She's giving you all the best insight on why to do them and how to do them; she's even sharing sample agendas! So you've got to check that out.
I consider the board retreat oxygen for the organizational brain. It provides space and time to breathe and think deeply about the organization's health and well-being. As I've written elsewhere, the coming together of boards, staff and volunteers can be a bonding experience that can move an organization to new levels of achievement. And taking time to breathe and think deeply can clear away the cobwebs and refocus everyone on the mission and the impact.
Most regular board meetings just can't do that very well. With their agendas and often rigorous timeframes, getting the chance to even take a breath, much less a deep one, is almost impossible. You've got to create separate space for deep breathing.Lots of boards go on hiatus during the summer months. I think this could be a great time to hold a retreat -- even if it's just for a few hours around the backyard grill. It's the chance to take the long view, review options, ask the "what if's" and keep the oxygen flowing.
Photo: Oneness Family Board Retreat,...from cliffkayser