Redirecting Boards:  Getting it Right Makes All the Difference in the World <ul><li>Common Good Vermont </li></ul><ul><li>...
<ul><li>“ Effective governance by the board of a nonprofit organization is a rare and unnatural act.” </li></ul><ul><li>- ...
Boards are: <ul><li>Awash in an endless stream of short-term matters and are not focused on the big goals, the basic value...
Wrong-Headed Assumptions about the Roles of Boards
Dictionary Definition of Boards <ul><li>A board of directors is an “organized body of administrators” who “supervise, cont...
To govern, not manage <ul><li>Not to direct the work or make operational decisions (manage).  Rather, governance is a sepa...
<ul><li>“ Ah, the temptation is great – but keep your hands out of the operation!  Trustees are not to manage the institut...
<ul><li>If you don’t want board members involved in the daily business of the organization, why give them an invitation by...
Shared Leadership <ul><li>Executive staff manages, board governs – acting as a steward, trustee, and fiduciary </li></ul>
Steward <ul><li>The board protects the assets (tangible, intangible) of the stakeholder  (client, donor, funder, public) o...
Trustee <ul><li>Develops and monitors policies, sets a future strategic direction on behalf of the beneficiary – acts in t...
Fiduciary <ul><li>Protects the financial well-being and solvency of the nonprofit organization </li></ul>
A More Modern Way to Look at the Role of Boards <ul><li>Steward </li></ul><ul><li>Trustee </li></ul><ul><li>Fiduciary </li...
What Must Boards DO? What legal duties must be followed?
Five Functions a Board Must Do <ul><li>Plan STRATEGICALLY toward the future </li></ul><ul><li>ESTABLISH POLICY that guides...
Board and CEO Partnership: Sharing power, leadership  and responsibility. . .  Created through transparency and trust
 
<ul><li>“ Nonprofits waste uncounted hours debating who is superior and who is subordinate – board or executive officer.  ...
<ul><li>“ The relationship between the Board President and the Executive Director is one of responsible partnership.  Like...
<ul><li>“ The president is not the executive director’s superior – that’s the entire board’s role.  I think working partne...
Ways to Make the CEO/Board Partnership Real <ul><li>Partners in Leadership, Marlboro College, March 18 in Brattleboro . . ...
Consultant Recommendation: Follow John Carver’s Commandments <ul><li>Govern proactively by values, not reactively by event...
John Carver (cont.) <ul><li>Board resolves issues with largest impact, CEO decides everything else. </li></ul><ul><li>CEO ...
Ten Quick Ways to  Improve Board Meetings <ul><li>Nametags, name tents on table </li></ul><ul><li>Acronym chart posted in ...
Ten Quick Ways  . . . (cont.) <ul><li>Only include committee reports when they relate to board action items </li></ul><ul>...
Mixing the Agenda <ul><li>Head/Heart items </li></ul><ul><li>Rotate discussion/debate/presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Remem...
Four Metals that Make  for Better Board meetings <ul><li>Golden Rule:  keep meetings as informal as possible </li></ul><ul...
<ul><li>“ Selected objectives for the ideal board member: know why the organization exists, and annually review why it sho...
Jim LeFevre www.LeFevreAssociates.com email:  [email_address] Phone: 802-922-8659
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Redirecting Boards: A New Vision of Governance

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Common Good Vermont hosts a 75 minute panel with Jim LeFevre of LeFevre Associates to discuss the main functions of the modern board and strategies for successful governance. Jim will present a full day workshop on the subject with Marlboro Graduate School on 3/18/11

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Redirecting Boards: A New Vision of Governance

  1. 1. Redirecting Boards: Getting it Right Makes All the Difference in the World <ul><li>Common Good Vermont </li></ul><ul><li>Webcast </li></ul><ul><li>March 8, 2011 </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Effective governance by the board of a nonprofit organization is a rare and unnatural act.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Chait, Taylor & Ryan, from: Governance as Leadership : Reframing the Work of </li></ul><ul><li>Nonprofit Boards </li></ul>
  3. 3. Boards are: <ul><li>Awash in an endless stream of short-term matters and are not focused on the big goals, the basic values, the dreams; </li></ul><ul><li>Ineffective because the traditional things we ask boards to do are archaic, irrelevant and even if done well, often unnecessary; and </li></ul><ul><li>Lacking in the accountability to a bottom line that would focus their efforts. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- John Carver </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Governance Consultant </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Wrong-Headed Assumptions about the Roles of Boards
  5. 5. Dictionary Definition of Boards <ul><li>A board of directors is an “organized body of administrators” who “supervise, control, or manage.” </li></ul><ul><li>This definition is archaic and an invitation for disaster. </li></ul>
  6. 6. To govern, not manage <ul><li>Not to direct the work or make operational decisions (manage). Rather, governance is a separate process and a distinct part of leadership. Board governance relates to decisions that: </li></ul><ul><li>1) define expectations, </li></ul><ul><li>2) grant power, and </li></ul><ul><li>3) verify performance. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>“ Ah, the temptation is great – but keep your hands out of the operation! Trustees are not to manage the institution, but to make certain that it is managed well.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Jerald Panas </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>If you don’t want board members involved in the daily business of the organization, why give them an invitation by reporting to them about daily activities? </li></ul><ul><li>- Anonymous Administrator </li></ul>
  9. 9. Shared Leadership <ul><li>Executive staff manages, board governs – acting as a steward, trustee, and fiduciary </li></ul>
  10. 10. Steward <ul><li>The board protects the assets (tangible, intangible) of the stakeholder (client, donor, funder, public) ownership </li></ul>
  11. 11. Trustee <ul><li>Develops and monitors policies, sets a future strategic direction on behalf of the beneficiary – acts in the trust of the long-term public good. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Fiduciary <ul><li>Protects the financial well-being and solvency of the nonprofit organization </li></ul>
  13. 13. A More Modern Way to Look at the Role of Boards <ul><li>Steward </li></ul><ul><li>Trustee </li></ul><ul><li>Fiduciary </li></ul><ul><li>To govern, not manage </li></ul><ul><li>Shared leadership </li></ul>
  14. 14. What Must Boards DO? What legal duties must be followed?
  15. 15. Five Functions a Board Must Do <ul><li>Plan STRATEGICALLY toward the future </li></ul><ul><li>ESTABLISH POLICY that guides the organization and articulates the values that form these future strategies </li></ul><ul><li>HIRE AND FIRE a CEO, evaluate, recognize/appreciate and support the executive </li></ul><ul><li>ADVOCATE for and champion the nonprofit’s cause </li></ul><ul><li>FUNDRAISE AND FRIEND-RAISE to ensure that the organization has enough discretionary private donations to be effective </li></ul>
  16. 16. Board and CEO Partnership: Sharing power, leadership and responsibility. . . Created through transparency and trust
  17. 18. <ul><li>“ Nonprofits waste uncounted hours debating who is superior and who is subordinate – board or executive officer. The answer is that they must be colleagues. Each has a different part to play. Their tasks are complementary. Thus, each has to ask, ‘What do I owe the other?’, not as board members and executive officers tend to do – ‘What does the other one owe me?’ The two have to work as one team of equals.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Peter Drucker </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>“ The relationship between the Board President and the Executive Director is one of responsible partnership. Like all human partnerships, this one has moments of tension and difficulty. Mutual trust, respect and courtesy will go a long way toward minimizing any difficulties that arise.” </li></ul><ul><li>-- Board Papers </li></ul><ul><li> PPFA Western Region </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>“ The president is not the executive director’s superior – that’s the entire board’s role. I think working partner is the way to view the relationship.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Anne Saunier, OD consultant </li></ul>
  20. 21. Ways to Make the CEO/Board Partnership Real <ul><li>Partners in Leadership, Marlboro College, March 18 in Brattleboro . . . A day long workshop for Exec Directors and Board Chairs </li></ul><ul><li>Board Development and Education Retreat. . . Focusing on your organization’s governance practices and making them better </li></ul><ul><li>Untied Way’s offering board events, for example, in Brattleboro, helping people prepare for being board members </li></ul><ul><li>Books, webinars, BoardSource </li></ul>
  21. 22. Consultant Recommendation: Follow John Carver’s Commandments <ul><li>Govern proactively by values, not reactively by event specifics. </li></ul><ul><li>Four key areas board should construct values: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ends </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>staff means </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>board-staff link </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>board process </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Boards must spend most time on ENDS. </li></ul><ul><li>Board addresses STAFF MEANS by constraints only (e.g. go until we have said stop). </li></ul>
  22. 23. John Carver (cont.) <ul><li>Board resolves issues with largest impact, CEO decides everything else. </li></ul><ul><li>CEO position exists to accomplish ENDS without violating STAFF MEANS. </li></ul><ul><li>Routinize evaluation of CEO on their performance against the ENDS goals and honoring of MEANS constraints. </li></ul><ul><li>Board agendas focus more on future than reviewing past and look outside organization more than inside </li></ul>
  23. 24. Ten Quick Ways to Improve Board Meetings <ul><li>Nametags, name tents on table </li></ul><ul><li>Acronym chart posted in room </li></ul><ul><li>Write “anticipated action” for each agenda item </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone speaks at least once </li></ul><ul><li>No one-way communication from staff </li></ul>
  24. 25. Ten Quick Ways . . . (cont.) <ul><li>Only include committee reports when they relate to board action items </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership – include a big picture or significant change at every meeting </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage dumb questions </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure room is comfortable and feed the troops </li></ul><ul><li>Adjourn on time or agree to stay later </li></ul>
  25. 26. Mixing the Agenda <ul><li>Head/Heart items </li></ul><ul><li>Rotate discussion/debate/presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Remember whose meeting it is </li></ul>
  26. 27. Four Metals that Make for Better Board meetings <ul><li>Golden Rule: keep meetings as informal as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Silver Lining : do not require unanimous decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Brass Ring : Run board meetings with common sense and good group process </li></ul><ul><li>Iron Glove : Avoid factions and personal politics </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>“ Selected objectives for the ideal board member: know why the organization exists, and annually review why it should; give money, or help get it, or both; face budgets with courage, endowments with doubt, deficits with dismay and recover quickly from a surplus; interpret the organization’s work to the public and words syllables; combine a New England sense of obligation with an Irish sense of humor.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Michael Davis </li></ul><ul><li> Rosewald Fund </li></ul>
  28. 29. Jim LeFevre www.LeFevreAssociates.com email: [email_address] Phone: 802-922-8659

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