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Texas Nonprofit Summit“Building an Exceptional Board”                                 CYNTHIA B. NUNN, PRESIDENT          ...
Building An Exceptional Board              2          cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
 Principles of Good Governance andChanging Times                  Ethical Practice (Independent Sector ‘07)Findings:     ...
Finding the                 Looking for Individuals Who…Right BoardMembers                             Understand the ben...
Problem Statement:How Do You Find the Right Board Members?Focused and targeted planDedicated Governance CommitteeApplic...
Problem Statement:Where Do You Find the Right Board Members? Professional Networks Board Committees Agency Volunteers ...
Starting on the Right FootOn-Boarding Process               Getting Engaged Orientations that Work           Keep them i...
Problem Statement: How Do You Keep Them    Engaged and Moving in the Right Direction?Who’s Guiding Whom?                 W...
Building Great                       Handing Challenging PeopleRelationships:                         Ensure all opinion...
 Engage in Self AssessmentMeasuring                       Too comprehensive for every yearImpact                        ...
 Term LimitsTime to Move On                                Makes diversity easierNot the right reason to        Built-...
Proving it Up! Evidence supports a positive relationship between board  and organizational effectiveness            (Boar...
Building An Exceptional Board              13         cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
Proving it Up! Practices that result in effectiveness:   There appears to be substantial evidence that more effective bo...
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How to Build an Exceptional Board: Recruitment, Orientation, Training and Evaluation

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Cynthia Nunn, President, Center for Nonprofit Management

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How to Build an Exceptional Board: Recruitment, Orientation, Training and Evaluation

  1. 1. Texas Nonprofit Summit“Building an Exceptional Board” CYNTHIA B. NUNN, PRESIDENT CENTER FOR NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT T H U R S D AY, S E P T E M B E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 2 , 1 : 3 0 – 3 : 0 0 P. M . cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  2. 2. Building An Exceptional Board 2 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  3. 3.  Principles of Good Governance andChanging Times Ethical Practice (Independent Sector ‘07)Findings:  Core strengths  Ineffective Board  Alignment around mission Oversight  No aligned with mission, say “no “  Deferring to CEO; CEO setting policy and  Positioned to capture new opportunities direction when timing is right  Not asking for information to make  Accountability and transparency decisions  Legal and public disclosure  Lost sight of its role as  Processes and structures to protector of organization and inform, direct, manage and monitor mission activities toward objectives  Asleep at the wheel 3 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  4. 4. Finding the Looking for Individuals Who…Right BoardMembers  Understand the benefits of serviceMost individuals servingneed no justification for  Know their skills are neededbeing a member; theyknow perfectly well what  Have ability to affect changethey are doing and whythey want to continue  Want to have an impactdoing it.  Enjoy collaborating with interestingHowever, Others too shy people with same intereststo join or need someoneelse to tell them why it  Feel good by doing goodmakes sense.  Want to give back(Board Source 2010) 4 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  5. 5. Problem Statement:How Do You Find the Right Board Members?Focused and targeted planDedicated Governance CommitteeApplication processSerious cultivation and information sharingWilling body +Genuine interestDiverse representation 5 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  6. 6. Problem Statement:Where Do You Find the Right Board Members? Professional Networks Board Committees Agency Volunteers Leadership Programs Chambers of Commerce Other Board Members Civic, Government and Business Leaders Corporate Community Engagement Officers 6 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  7. 7. Starting on the Right FootOn-Boarding Process Getting Engaged Orientations that Work  Keep them informed; Board manuals with stimulate participation useful information  Decision Information  Monitoring Information No overwhelming data  Incidental Information Introduction to staff and  A place to work board leadership  Committees that matter  Committees with effective structures 7
  8. 8. Problem Statement: How Do You Keep Them Engaged and Moving in the Right Direction?Who’s Guiding Whom? What Are They Doing? Leading leaders  Understanding the  The art of influence board’s role  Clearly defined roles for  Legal & Fiduciary oversight board leader and CEO  Fundraising strategy  Building consensus 8
  9. 9. Building Great  Handing Challenging PeopleRelationships:  Ensure all opinions on issues are welcomeNobody outside a board can  Stop negative personal comments orever fully understand itscomplexities and its insinuations; steer back to issuesinvolvements with its executiveand staff. Inherent in its very  Hold private discussion with disturbingnature are several seemingcontradictions; delicate balances members and find cause for the behavior;must constantly be achieved if itis to succeed. Boards might explain effects of behaviorseem unworkable, if it were notfor the fact that they are at  Give disgruntled member a meaningfulwork everywhere. assignment and expect results-- Cyril Houle in GoverningBoards: Their Nature and  If behavior continues, ask the member toNurture. resign or make the situation a full board"Board members are part-timeamateurs overseeing the work issue and discuss removal decisionof full-timeprofessionals, which, bydefinition, takes a certainamount of hubris."--Richard Chait 9 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  10. 10.  Engage in Self AssessmentMeasuring  Too comprehensive for every yearImpact  Useful just before strategic planning or52% of survey major campaignsrespondents indicatedthat their boards formally  Great tool just after a crisisassess their ownperformance.  Invigorating when complacency has set in52% of boards engaged  A step back from routine governance; timein self-assessment during to reflect on how well the board meets itsthe last 12 months responsibilities  Discovers areas for improvement; platform for setting and attaining priorities2012 BoardSource 10 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  11. 11.  Term LimitsTime to Move On  Makes diversity easierNot the right reason to  Built-in balance of continuity and turnover be a member  Better rotation of committee assignments  Infusion of fresh ideas and perspectivesObjectives not in  Brings awareness of changing group dynamics alignment  Advantages:To make room for  Less stagnation enthusiasm and the  Less concentration of power within a small group desire to learn  Less intimidation of occasional new members  Less tiredness, boredom and loss of commitmentNot just a single  collective – behavior of individuals members  Disadvantages: attributes to the board  Loss of expertise and memory as a whole (Board Source,  More time spent on recruitment Herman & Renz, 2002  Continue to work on group cohesiveness 11 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  12. 12. Proving it Up! Evidence supports a positive relationship between board and organizational effectiveness (BoardSource: Herman and Renz, 2000) Practices that result in effectiveness:  Effective governance is a function of the CEOs capacity to facilitate member’s involvement – use of skills, strengths and community connections  Success – not perfection – rests with the CEO who facilitates board operations, task assignments and involvement  Effective organizations have effective boards and effective boards use more recommended board practices 12 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  13. 13. Building An Exceptional Board 13 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470
  14. 14. Proving it Up! Practices that result in effectiveness:  There appears to be substantial evidence that more effective boards are differentiated from less effective ones in six distinct areas of competence –  Understanding and valuing institutional history and context  Building the capacity for board learning  Nurturing the development of the board as a cohesive group  Recognizing the complexities and nuances of issues before them  Respecting and guarding the integrity of the governance process  Envisioning and sharing the future institutional directions 14 cnmdallas.org | Main: 214.826.3470

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