Are You Kidding Me?

Don Crocker

Don Crocker

A board member of one of our area nonprofits recently told me that “the board doesn’t hire the nonprofit CEO; the nonprofit CEO hires the board”.

Are you kidding me?

Sadly, the reality of this perception is frightening — especially given the current economic realities we face.

Here are some thoughts for Board Development and Effectiveness in 2011:

1. Increased board engagement is NOT optional! Boards must step up and govern and they must be “in-charge” of hiring and firing CEOs

2. The board as a body and as individuals must sharpen their understanding and ownership of finances

3. Board members must up their activity in engaging new supporters and stewarding long-term supporters

4. The board leaders and CEO must communicate openly and often

5. The board must organize itself and its individual members to be effective and efficient, set clear goals for itself, and regularly measure its progress toward results

Our most thoughtful and progressive boards are renewing their commitment to strategic planning and organizing their meetings to determine how board members can fuel staff efforts to meet organizational imperatives.

Let’s talk about this and let me know what your board is doing to fuel your strategy in 2011.

Please post your comments/strategies.

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  1. Michael Bauch
    February 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I have been a member of two not-for-profit association boards. In both cases, it was clear from the start that the board elected the Executive Director, not the reverse. Why was it so clear? This requirement was incorporated in the by-laws of both associations and the board members were of like minds in conducting the executive search according to the by-laws.

    Undeniably, organizational politics and the dealmaking, alliances, back-channels and other offline tactics that it spawns can provide ways around even the most stringent by-laws and vigilant board members. So it is for the board to decide: which is more important – the political games that board members play or the integrity of its policies and procedures?

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