- Lynn Curry
- Situational Analysis
- Change Management
- Program Design
When an organization is of sufficient size and matures enough to have paid staff, it is past the fragile founding stages that require daily operational involvement from member leaders. Organizational survival is assured at that point; organizational purpose and strategic direction for growth becomes the challenge. That is the time for the content experts, the members, to withdraw from daily operations and focus on the longer term, large scale concerns: purpose and growth.
Suddenly the member advocates have to learn how to be board members! This is often not an easy transition. The knowledge base, skills and attitudes (KSA's) required to be a productive board member are not often part of their trained expertise. Those KSA's do not transfer from what they do every day. Nor should anyone rely too much on previous board experience. Experience on poorly functioning boards should not be transferred except in knowing what not to do!
If the organization, or the board member, has the funds and the time, attendance at any one of the many ‘directors colleges' offered by most business schools will be instructive and rewarding to both the board member and the organization. These programs cost upwards of $20,000 per person in registration fees alone and modules are offered cumulatively over twelve months or more.
An alternative is to bring the needed curriculum to your board. The KSA's for effective board participation can be tailored to your board, your organization and your industry. Sessions can be short (20 to 40 minutes), but should occur at regular intervals and be a consistent part of the board experience. Consider a half hour prior to every board meeting, for example, with intensive one day session added to the annual board planning retreat.
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