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Index to 22 Time-Saving Governance Tools and Templates

By John Pearson

“Under Pressure, You Don't Rise to the Occasion, You Sink to the Level of Your Training”

Whew! In this tumultuous environment today with the COVID-19 crisis, your time is limited, valuable, and strained. But, with God’s help, you can leverage your time. Hopefully, this blog will save you precious time—with easy-to-use click-on links to this series of 22 time-saving tools and templates (see below).

Over the last 22 blogs, we’ve highlighted the time-saving tools and templates in the new resource, ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance. Why is this so important? Peter Drucker wrote, “At least once every five years, every form should be put on trial for its life.” So…if it’s been five years (or 10 or 20 years) since you’ve updated your boardroom tools, this book will be a lifesaver for you—maybe not today, but down the road.

The book gives you full access to all 22 tools and templates—formatted as Word documents so you can customize the tools for your board’s unique training and communication needs. Here’s a convenient master list with links to the 22 blogs:

22 TIME-SAVING TOOLS AND TEMPLATES!
Here’s a convenient master list with links to the 22 blogs:

PART 1: SELECTING AND TRAINING EXCELLENT BOARD MEMBERS
Tool #1: The Pathway to the Board (Don’t Propose Marriage on Your First Date!)
Tool #2: Board Nominee Suggestion Form (Avoid the “Friend of a Friend of Cousin Eddie Syndrome”)
Tool #3: Board Nominee Orientation: Table of Contents (Don’t Swallow the Board Myth!)

PART 2: BOARD ASSESSMENTS
Tool #4: Five-Finger Feedback (Fast Feedback in 3 Minutes!)
Tool #5: The Board’s Annual Self-Assessment Survey (Look in the Mirror!)
Tool #6: The Board's Annual Financial Management Audit - 20 True or False Questions! (And…how does the board know if it’s true?)
Tool #7: The Board's Annual Legal Audit (Use This Annual Checklist to Monitor Legal Issues)
Tool #8: The Board's Annual Fundraising Audit (Pop Quiz on Fundraising Practices!)
Tool #9: The Board’s Annual Evaluation of the Top Leader (“Spotting, Catching, or Exiting a Falling CEO”)

PART 3: REPORTING TO THE BOARD
Tool #10: The 5/15 Monthly Report to the Board (Eliminate Hallway Whining!)
Tool #11: Monthly Dashboard Report (What Are Your CEO’s Top-5 Goals This Year?)
Tool #12: Quarterly Board Meeting Agenda & Recommendations (Plan a Robust “Heavy Lifting” Segment at Every Board Meeting)

PART 4: TAKING TIME FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING
Tool #13: Board Retreat Read-and-Reflect Worksheets (Deputize a “Leaders Are Readers Champion")
Tool #14: The Rolling 3-Year Strategic Plan Placemat (7 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail)
Tool #15: Board Retreat Trend-Spotting Exercise (Ostrich or Eagle?)

PART 5: POLICIES AND BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES
Tool #16: Prime Responsibility Chart (Eliminate Fuzziness Between Board and Staff Roles)
Tool #17: Board Policies Manual (BPM) - Policy: The Board’s Chief Occupation—Not an Occasional Board Chore
Tool #18: Job Descriptions for the Top Leader and Board Chair (The Number One Hiring Mistake!)

PART 6: IDEAS FOR BETTER BOARD GOVERNANCE
Tool #19: Ten Minutes for Governance (Lifelong Governance Learning—in 10-Minute Chunks!)
Tool #20: Tent Cards & Tools for Leveraging Board Member Strengths (Inspiring Deep Engagement in the Boardroom)
Tool #21: Board Member Annual Affirmation Statement (We Failed to “Date” a Board Prospect and Now We Have a Loose Cannon!)
Tool #22: Straw Vote Cards (A Quick and Courteous Way to Give Every Board Member a Voice)

The book includes five ways to leverage these tools and templates (see page 248). “Refresh Your Governance Experiences” highlights these five approaches:
1. Refresh your agenda with Tool #12,” Quarterly Board Meeting Agenda & Recommendations.”
2. Refresh your training with Tool #10, “Ten Minutes for Governance.”
3. Refresh your policy with Tool #17, “Board Policies Manual.”
4. Refresh your accountability with Tool #11, “Monthly Dashboard Report.”
5. Refresh your first 30 minutes—with a nod to the book, The Power of Moments. (Click here to read my review.)

Order the tools book from Amazon by clicking on this title: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Reminder: The book gives you full access to all 22 tools and templates—formatted as Word documents so you can customize the tools for your board’s unique uses.

BOARD DISCUSSION: What tool could we start using TODAY that would save us precious time during this crisis (and perhaps the next crisis) and move us toward more effective and more God-honoring governance?

MORE RESOURCES: In Lesson 38 for the Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, Kent Stroman writes, “I love this quote 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.’ 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.” Read his guest blog, “Great Boards Delegate Their Reading. Deputize a ‘Leaders Are Readers Champion.’”

 

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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