This section will provide the essential elements to structure a board, ensure it has proper focus and relationship to the Executive Director and staff, and to design, prepare for and run productive board meetings. It will provide concepts and tools including the board book, committee work plan, meeting roles and ground rules, consent agenda and dashboards. An important element of this section is to encourage sharing of best practices currently in use among workshop participants.
1. Understand the pros and cons of differences in board size, committee structure and term limits
2. Identify and articulate the key attributes of a successful board chair
3. Understand the use of a board book and describe its key elements
4. Understand the use of a committee work plan and design an example
5. Identify the current balance of board focus – strategic/mission vs. operational/mechanics - and compare to best practice
6. Identify the preparation necessary for successful board meetings including meeting ground rules, roles, agendas, board member materials, board member preparation and facilitation.
7. Understand the time-saving use of a consent agenda and design an example.
8. Understand the use of a dashboard to save meeting time and to highlight key metrics for board meetings and design an example.
General Course Outline:
A. Board Structure
Common committees and committee responsibilities
Terms and term limits
Roles of the Board Chair and Executive Director
Key attributes of the successful board chair
Participants will discuss and list the key attributes of a successful board chair.
B. Board Structure Documentation
Participants will identify the contents of a board book for their organization and will prepare a sample annual work plan for one committee using a provided instrument.
C. Board Focus
Participants will discuss the importance of a strategic/mission board focus and will compare their organizations’ current balance of board focus to recommended practice.
D. Board Meetings
Pre-read board materials
Participants will identify items that could be handled with a consent agenda and will sketch a dashboard for key metrics relevant to their organization.
Keeping on schedule
Participants will compare their organizations’ current meeting mechanics, behaviors and outcomes to recommended practice.