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Preventing a Chasm Between the Board and Executive

Posted May 21, 2018 01:35 PM
Organizations are more resilient when everyone has shared expectations. But this is often not the case with the board of directors and executive.

On any one board, members will have very different ideas about how the board should operate and what it means to do a good job as a board member. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for an executive to feel that each board member expects something different and that expectations are constantly shifting, making it difficult to have a trusting relationship with the board. This situation is so pervasive that we often do not take stock of the cost to organizational performance this lack of alignment creates.

There are ways to reduce this stress on board members, the executive, and on organizational performance. Some commonly used tools are position descriptions for board members and officers, an up-to-date job description and annual evaluation for the executive, written board policies, and annual commitment forms. However, even if these are all in place, up-to-date, and known to everyone, there are often "fissures" that develop around the board. And these have the potential to become chasms!

Would you like to enhance board/staff alignment? The principles and policies used by Policy Governance® boards can help, whether you adopt the full approach or not. A PG board develops (and constantly refines) policies that define accountability. These are enforced through a set of practices laid out in advance. Executives who know what is expected of them can focus on getting things done instead of "reading the tea leaves" before the next board meeting.

First step to greater board/executive alignment? Register and bring a couple of board members to this workshop!

A More Powerful Board Through Policy Governance®
with Nancy Long, Executive Director, 501 Commons

Monday, June 4 | 9:00 a.m. to noon
Pacific Tower (8th floor Panoramic Center)
1200 12th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

See driving and parking directions

This seminar provides you with a solid understanding of Policy Governance, an approach to governance used by many nonprofits, credit unions, religious organizations, and school districts.

The workshop presenter is Nancy Long, executive director of 501 Commons, which uses Policy Governance® for its board.

Who should attend this workshop:

  • Board members and executive directors who want to more clearly define the authority of the executive and the role of board members
  • Executive directors and board members considering whether PG would be a good fit for their organization
  • New members of PG boards who need to understand the its theories and practices