Who is On Your Board?

Are your Board members best suited to the specific challenges facing your organization? Or are they a collection of honored elders and appointees from factions within the organization? If the latter, how do you expect them to function cohesively and for the best interests of the organization as a whole?

It may be time to re-think the purpose of having a board. It is not a ‘Hall of Fame" or retirement job; nor is it a place to represent small group concerns. Organizations should identify interests and utilize available energies from senior members; those still working and those in retirement. They should also identify and connect meaningfully with all sections of their membership on an ongoing basis. But neither of these mandates is best served through board membership.

The purpose of a board is to help the organization see the future and respond strategically. That extends to holding both itself and management accountable for the quality of that foresight and response. It is reasonable to expect that the required KSA's (knowledge, skills and attitudes) will change over time and opportunity. Moving to a skills-based board is a solution to this necessary board tuning. Doing that openly and with full participation of the membership is a great way to develop future leaders. Better for the members; better for management; better for organizational results.

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