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8 symptoms of an unhealthy board

by The NonProfit Times - March 15, 2013

What is your board’s current diagnosis? Is it healthy or is it on life support? If you aren’t quite sure how to answer, it might be time to call the doctor.

Healthy boards are key to a successful nonprofit, according to Mike Schroeder in “Secrets of Successful Boards.” Without proper structure and governance, organizations tend to fall into disarray. If you’re not sure of the symptoms of an unhealthy board, schroeder lists eight things to look out for:

  • Dead board members still get meeting notices;
  • Board members don’t attend meetings;
  • General board members refer all the tough issues to the executive committee for action;
  • Agendas aren’t prepared or followed;
  • There is no follow-up on action items;
  • Board members are unwilling to recruit new members;
  • Committees don’t meet; and,
  • The mission is not get getting accomplished.

If your board is showing any of those symptoms, it’s time to get to work on a cure. The changes you will need to make will be daunting, but remember that you can make them in increments.


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