7 Critical Board Processes

July 7, 2016       The NonProfit Times      

Board procedures are a matter of routine for most organizations, with little change from one ear to the next.

In her book “Thoughtfully Ruthless,” Val Wright recommends not just routine procedures but exemplary processes and behaviors. She lists seven critical processes for an exemplary board.

* Strategy refresh every year. Strategy can’t be set and ignored for three years, but strategy discussions too often can be detrimental. Wright suggests a session for strategy refreshment and course correction once a year.
* Board exposure to key senior talent. Use the board to connect with and inspire top talent.
* Succession plan discussion twice a year. A conversation about who is in the plan what gaps need to be closed is an essential part of a board’s role.
* Individual one-on-one connections. Individual connections between board members and with the CEO are crucial, and depending on meetings to accomplish this is not a good idea.
* One-year executive launch plan for new CEOs and new board members. Rarely do new CEOs or board members receive structured support for a full year.
Meaningful meetings. This includes being intentional about how and when the board engages, being clear about what is going on, preventing surprises, instilling meeting discipline, understanding organizational culture and agreement on how people will disagree.
* Annual CEO and board performance evaluations. These are crucial, and often overlooked.