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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

LESSON 2 – Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking

Welcome to More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Bruce Johnson is our guest blogger this week for the second of four lessons in "Part 1: The Powerful Impact of Highly Engaged Boards.”


LESSON 2 OF 40 - Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking
They rely on generative thinking in their day jobs but are rarely asked to think collaboratively in the boardroom.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: If you were asked to name the three key governance functions of a board, what would be on your list? I doubt “generative” would make your list. It sure wouldn’t have been on mine, but intuitively I knew something like it was important—how to tap the ideas and problem-solving capabilities of board members. Lesson 2 introduces this fairly new concept. See page nine in the book for a clear diagram of the three key governance functions of a board.  

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 2, pages 7-12: 
• Page 10: “…most trustees add too little, too late.” 
• Page 11: “The counterintuitive high value of dwelling on the past, to understand patterns that might impact the future.” 
• Page 12 prayer: “Lord, you have blessed us with amazing men and women who have incredible hearts and minds.” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
One of our board members first introduced generative thinking to our SIM USA board. It was an example of generative thinking—bring new thinking and approaches to the table. Generative thinking helps create that kind of culture of contribution within boards.

But let me ask, what percentage of your board meetings are dedicated to idea generation? If we bring people onto our boards because of the value they will bring, why is it we tap into only 50 percent or less of that value? Intentionally weave in generative thinking by dedicating specific time in your board meetings. This will significantly increase member contribution and they will become more motivated as board members. No one joins a board because they love hearing reports. People join a board because they want to make a difference, they want to contribute to an organization or church they love.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY BRUCE JOHNSON:


For ten years, BRUCE JOHNSON has been president of SIM USA, a global mission agency in over 70 countries. At the end of February 2020, he retires from full-time ministry leadership after a 46-year career that spanned multiple organizations, including three stints as an interim CEO.  Also, for nearly a decade Bruce had a full-time consulting practice to ministry and church leaders, NextLevel Leadership, to which he will return. He will continue to work with leaders as a consultant in sifting through issues and bringing clarity to organizational and life direction.  Bruce serves on the board of ECFA and is an elder in his local church.

TO DO TODAY: 
• Select one topic, problem or idea and spend focused time at your next board meeting in open brainstorming to generate ideas for improvement or solutions. It’s not decision-making time; it’s idea-generation time.
• Add generative thinking as a regular part of your board meeting. Try to dedicate one hour or more at each board meeting to generative governance.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 2: Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking.”




NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Jan. 22, 2020, 
watch for the commentary by Rick Alvis on Lesson 3, “The Productivity Payoff of Intentional Hospitality. Create hospitable and productive board environments.”





BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

LESSON 1 – Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes

Welcome to More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Wayne Pederson is our guest blogger this week for the first of four lessons in "Part 1: The Powerful Impact of Highly Engaged Boards.”
LESSON 1 OF 40 - Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes
Two stories: “The Board and the Bachelor Farmer” and “$1.5 Billion Worth of Burger Blessings!”


THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 1, the authors note that there should be great joy in serving on an effective, healthy board—and that there is great satisfaction when board members are serving faithfully in their God-given strengths.  

Board faithfulness produces positive outcomes and God’s blessings. And donors are able to discern the effectiveness of a ministry by the faithful stewardship of its board. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 1, pages 2-6: 
“Big blessings abound when governance faithfulness and management faithfulness flourish.”
• “It’s very important that we know and leverage the God-given strengths of every board member.” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY:
As I moved into ministry management, my CEO told me that the Governance Committee (the committee that nominates, vets, and selects future board members) is the most important committee of the board. Their decisions will determine the direction, vision, and sustainability of the ministry for the next decade.  

Potential board members should not be pressured to serve. Neither should the selection committee grab on to whoever is available. There must be prayer, discernment, and conversation in the recruitment and selection of new board members.

At the same time…
• if a board member seems not to be in tune with the direction of the ministry, 
• if that person seems always to be taking a contrarian view of board decisions, 
• if that member is consistently the only one who votes no, 
• if the board member is not experiencing joy and passion in board stewardship,
…then the Governance Committee needs to address that concern and make adjustments to that person’s membership. 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY WAYNE PEDERSON:

WAYNE PEDERSON is executive liaison for Far East Broadcasting Company. He has served in Christian broadcasting for over 50 years with Northwestern Media, Moody Broadcasting, National Religious Broadcasters, and HCJB/Reach Beyond. He serves on several boards including ECFA, NRB, The Joshua Fund, and Alliance for the Unreached. He’s married to Willi and they live in beautiful Colorado.

TO DO TODAY: 
Look for agenda items or report items that bring joy, praise, and fulfillment to the board and board members.
• If there’s a board member who appears out of step or shows a negative attitude, create an opportunity to lovingly, but honestly, challenge that individual regarding his or her role.
• Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “Lesson 1: Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes.”




NEXT WEDNESDAY: On Jan. 15, 2020, watch for the commentary by Bruce Johnson on Lesson 2, “Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking. They rely on generative thinking in their day jobs but are rarely asked to think collaboratively in the boardroom.”








BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

40 BLOGS. 40 WEDNESDAYS.

Welcome to...
MORE LESSONS FROM THE NONPROFIT BOARDROOM BLOG!

JOIN US! You're invited to join us here for 40 Wednesdays in 2020 when 40 guest bloggers will add their insights to the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: Effectiveness, Excellence, Elephants! by Dan Busby and John Pearson.

Watch for a new post every Wednesday. Don’t miss the first two blogs:

January 8, 2020 – Lesson 1 (Wayne Pederson, guest blogger)
Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes
Two Stories: “The Board and the Bachelor Farmer” and “$1.5 Billion Worth of Burger Blessings!”

January 15, 2020 – Lesson 2 (Bruce Johnson, guest blogger)
Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking
They rely on generative thinking in their day jobs but are rarely asked to think collaboratively in the boardroom.

MORE LESSONS FROM THE NONPROFIT BOARDROOM is the perfect book to give to your board members and will inspire them in God-honoring governance. With 40 short chapters in 10 memorable categories, you’ll appreciate the short lessons on: 
  1. The Powerful Impact of Highly Engaged Board
  2. Boardroom Tools and Templates
  3. Nominees for the Board Member Hall of Fame
  4. Epiphanies in the Boardroom
  5. Boardroom Bloopers
  6. Boardroom Time-Wasters, Troublemakers, and Truth-Tellers
  7. Boardroom Best Practices,
  8. Boardroom Worst Practices
  9. Holy Ground and Other Locations
  10. Building a 24/7 Board Culture

Plus! Check out the other books in the ECFA governance series by Dan Busby and John Pearson:

ORDER THE BOOK (Click here!)

LESSON 2 – Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking

Welcome to  More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog ,  a 40-week journey through the new book,  More Lessons From the Nonprofit...