In a blog post last October, our Associate Executive Director Maria Turnbull highlighted the importance of building your board with ‘forest thinkers’. These individuals naturally focus on high level strategic direction, mission, relevance and values – rather than on operational details.
Forest thinkers create an atmosphere that is conducive to governing, strategizing, and visioning; which are key activities for your board to perform effectively. A critical dimension to effective governance is inspiring these activities, and your forest thinkers, during board meetings.
In July, I discussed the complicated marriage of operations and governance for a board without paid staff and how a consent agenda can help maximize your board meetings. This week, I offer some tips and tricks for achieving this balance and ensuring the important work of governance does not get mired in the detail of operations.
Mitch Dorger discussed this topic in an edition of Nonprofit Quarterly, outlining five possibilities for balancing these two important functions:
Divide the board into governance and operational committees
Develop specific job descriptions for each of two boards – a...