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Equip Your Board Members: Indexes to Inspiration

By John Pearson

Imagine receiving these texts from grateful board members:

• “Thanks, Jennifer, for chairing another stimulating board meeting. The ‘Ten Minutes for Governance’ segment was perfect for new board members. Well done!”

• “Pedro—thank you, thank you…for asking Skip to present the Ten Minutes segment on the board member’s role in fundraising. I’ve been on the board for five years. Best. Meeting. Ever!”

Many boards are following the practice of investing “10 Minutes for Governance” in every board meeting. (Click here to read this chapter online.)

According to Lesson 39 in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, “The typical boardroom includes a mix of new and long-term board members who bring their previous board experiences (or lack of experiences) into your boardroom. Every board member carries unhealthy baggage into your meeting that passed as normalcy in a previous boardroom.

What will 2021 look like in your boardroom or on Zoom meetings? To avoid “bringing our delightful dysfunctions into every new board experience,” here are helpful “Indexes to Inspiration”—links to more than 200 blogs, lessons, and book chapters. Appoint a “Leaders Are Readers Champion” and plan now for a “10 Minutes for Governance” in every 2021 board meeting.

INDEXES TO INSPIRATION: 204 IDEA-STARTERS!

40 GUEST BLOGS: Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings

40 GUEST BLOGS: More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: Effectiveness, Excellence, Elephants!

40 GUEST BLOGS: Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance

22 BLOGS: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board — Note: See Tool #19: “Ten Minutes for Governance (Lifelong Governance Learning—in 10-Minute Chunks!)”

18 BLOGS: Best Board Books (brief summaries of 18 board governance books)

30 BLOGS: Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board (the 91-page book by Max De Pree)

14 BLOGS: Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask (summary of the 14 chapters/questions by Ram Charan)

Great Boards Delegate Their Reading! That’s a chapter title in Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom (click here to read online). Guest blogger Kent Stroman notes this from the U.S. Navy Seals: “Under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That's why we train so hard.” Stroman adds, “By being intentional about ongoing board member education, organizations are investing in their own preparation to ‘rise to the occasion’ that will inevitably emerge—at the least expected moment.”

View-and-Engage! In addition to the blog options above, check out the four short videos in the ECFA Governance Toolbox Series. Topics include: board member recruitment, board roles (the three hats), conflicts of interest, and succession planning. Each toolbox includes a short video, a read-and-engage viewing guide, a facilitator guide, and bonus resources. Click here.

Blessings in the New Year! And speaking of encouraging texts, I’m so appreciative of Scott Rodin’s daily text ministry from The Steward’s Journey. As I finished this blog, this coronavirus-relevant insight arrived in his morning text:

“Being in Christ, it is safe to forget the past;
it is possible to be sure of the future;
it is possible to be diligent in the present.”

Alexander MacLaren

 

This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

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