Do you ever find yourself in a board meeting that probably didn’t need to be in? The meeting for meeting’s sake?
I think all of us have at one point. But if you often find yourself there, you might need to ask yourself a question: is our board bored?
Bored boards get themselves in trouble. Non-event meetings blunt the senses and chill passions. They turn members to other pursuits that lead to pathways away from the organization, or across the border from appropriate boardsmanship to inappropriate administrative interference.
How do you know if your board is bored? Take a look at the minutes for the past half dozen meetings. Is there a through-line narrative that tells a story of accomplishment, of challenges identified and met? Or does it read more like a series of isolated vignettes: individually interesting, but disparate and disjointed as an amalgam?
Check the new/old business items to see if things are happening. Is the pipeline productive?
All boards exist on a continuum. Think of it as a line that stretches from left to right at the edges of your peripheral vision. The line runs from total dysfunction to board nirvana. Where is your board on that continuum?
Do you meet for meeting’s sake? Do you wonder why you are there and what value you bring? Do you look forward to meetings? Or do you look forward to meetings being over?
Board development is one of the most often unmet organizational needs we see. Too often boards are not:
- recruited strategically
- oriented properly
- engaged effectively
- led dynamically
They represent a potent underused resource that limits organizational growth and may actually contribute to a decay of morale and productivity.