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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

BONUS LESSON – Index to 40 Blogs

OUR FINAL BLOG! We hope you’ve found value for your board in More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, this 40-week journey through the book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: Effectiveness, Excellence, Elephants! by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Over the last 40 Wednesdays, we've featured 40 guest bloggers and their favorite snippet from the week's topic. 

Here are some final thoughts from Dan and John—and a click-on menu of all 40 bloggers and 40 lessons—plus a bonus lesson by ECFA President Michael Martin on a free board self-assessment. And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.



CAUTIONS AND CATALYSTS! Index to the 40 Blogs
To address the elephant in the room, you must have the right board members in the room.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: As Busby and Pearson wrote in their introduction, “To address the elephant in the room, you must have the right board members in the room. Board service is not for the weak of heart. So in these lessons, you’ll find numerous alerts, cautions, and warnings: how to guard your CEO’s soul, insights on succession planning, the Governance Pendulum Principle, the dangers of botched executive sessions, and why résumé-builders make lousy board members.

“We pray that this book [and these blogs] will be a catalyst for your board to have numerous healthy conversations about effectiveness, excellence, and elephants. And we also salute you and thank you for accepting the sacred trust of ministry board service. God is honored.”

CLICK-ON INDEX TO ALL 40 LESSONS
ECFA is grateful to our 40 guest bloggers who shared their insights and color commentaries on all 40 lessons over the last 40 Wednesdays. Click on a relevant lesson for your board—and share the link with your board members today!

BONUS RESOURCE AND FREE ONLINE SURVEY
How Healthy Is Your Board? NonprofitBoardScore™ (Michael Martin)

PART 1: THE POWERFUL IMPACT OF HIGHLY ENGAGED BOARDS
1) Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes (Wayne Pedersen)
2) Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking (Bruce Johnson)
3) The Productivity Payoff of Intentional Hospitality (Rick Alvis)
4) Guarding Your CEO’s Soul (Wes Willmer)

PART 2: BOARDROOM TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
5) Dashboards Are Not a Secret Sauce for Sound Governance (Reid Lehman)
6) Enhance Harmony by Clarifying Your Participant-Hat Expectations (Andy Bales
7) Eliminate Fuzziness Between Board and Staff Roles (Bill Gruenwald)
8) Design Your Succession Plan—NOW! (Bill Frisby)

PART 3: NOMINEES FOR THE BOARD MEMBER HALL OF FAME
9) Just Do One Thing a Month (Devlin Donaldson)
10) A Unanimous Choice for the Board Member Hall of Fame (Woody McLendon)
11) Thrive With Four Kingdom Values (Hal Habecker)
12) Keeping the Boardroom Afloat (Willie Nolte)

PART 4: EPIPHANIES IN THE BOARDROOM
13) Caution! Understand the Governance Pendulum Principle (Paul Anderson)
14) Plant a Seed in the Boardroom (Seng Tan)
15) Be Intentional About Your First 30 Minutes (David Schmidt)
16) Looking for Consensus but Finding Division (Max Wilkins)

PART 5: BOARDROOM BLOOPERS
17) Botched Executive Sessions Are Not Pretty (Philip Boom
18) Warning! Résumé-Builders Make Lousy Board Members (Gordon Flinn)
19) Beware the Phone-Book-Size Report (Dave Semmelbeck)

PART 6: BOARDROOM TIME-WASTERS, TROUBLEMAKERS, AND TRUTH-TELLERS
20) Don’t Be Late—or Annoying! (Dan Steiner)
21) Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction (Dan Bolin)
22) Whopper Mistakes Can Unravel Your Ministry (Kecia Klob)
23) The Bully in the Boardroom (Nate Parks

PART 7: BOARDROOM BEST PRACTICES
24) Should Most Standing Committees Stand Down? (Rebekah Basinger)
25) Compensating the CEO—It’s About More Than Money (Tom Okarma)
26) Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand (David Ingerson)
27) Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome (Tom Beaumont)
PART 8: BOARDROOM WORST PRACTICES
28) Defending Risks Everywhere Is Not a Strategic Plan (Mike Clabaugh)
29) The Two Enemies of Sound Board Decisions (Steve Moore
30) Are You Competing Based on Overhead—Really? (David Beroth
31) Where Two or Three Are Gathered on Social Media… (John Ashmen

PART 9: HOLY GROUND AND OTHER LOCATIONS
32) There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#1: Prayer (Cameron Doolittle)
33) There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#2: Fundraising (Jos Snoep)
34) Five Troublesome Misconceptions of Board Members (Bart Hadder)
35) Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom (Hans Finzel

PART 10: BUILDING A 24/7 BOARD CULTURE
36) Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel (Steve Altick)
37) How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom? (Brian Heerwagen)
38) Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu (Connie Salios)
39) Identify Your Key Assumptions (Ed McDowell)
40) You Made Me Better Than I Was (Steve Macchia)

 


MORE BLOG SERIES:
Inspire your board members to be lifelong learners in governance! Read and share these other blog series with your board:
 40 Blogs: Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings
 40 Blogs: Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance
 22 Blogs: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board
 And more blogs: ECFA Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations Blog 


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

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

BONUS LESSON: How Healthy Is Your Board?

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. Michael Martin is our guest blogger this week for the bonus resource lesson, following the 40 lessons. And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.


BONUS LESSON: How Healthy Is Your Board?
Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Nonprofit boards rarely take time to self-assess their governance performance. They either don’t realize they need to do so—or are too busy tackling whatever may be the most urgent agenda items that pop up whenever the next board meeting rolls around.

Instead, regularly investing in targeted self-assessments on the six key governance elements highlighted in the free NonprofitBoardScore™ tool by ECFA will pay dividends in increasing your board’s effectiveness!

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Bonus Resource, pages 221-226: 
• As Rick Warren says, “The secret to effectiveness is to know what really counts, then do what really counts, and not to worry about all the rest.”
 Don’t underestimate the power of intentionality in your board work—clear agendas, Board Policies Manual, Prime Responsibility Chart, 80/20 focus on strategy, and more!
 Progress starts only when you are clear on where you are right now. You may discern that the board is under-performing in a certain area, but until the board has a laser focus on the problem, it will be difficult to take action.”

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
Nonprofit boards are increasingly using the NonprofitBoardScore™ self-assessment. It gives leaders an opportunity (and excuse!) to enter into much-needed discussion together about ways the board could collectively improve in the six critical governance areas. I’m so grateful a transformative tool like this now exists and is free to nonprofits everywhere!

Whatever you do, don’t miss this bonus lesson that provides an incredible capstone learning experience from all the great wisdom shared by Dan and John in More Lessons from the Nonprofit Boardroom

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL MARTIN:


MICHAEL MARTIN became president of ECFA in 2020. Both an attorney and a CPA, he had previously served on ECFA staff for nine years, most recently as Executive Vice President.

An accomplished communicator, Michael has written on both scholarly and popular levels. His authorship is probably best known from the annual Minister's Tax & Financial Guide and the Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide, both of which he co-authored with former ECFA President Dan Busby, beginning with the 2013 editions. The 30th annual edition will be released in January 2021.

Michael is passionate about helping churches and Christ-centered ministries maintain high standards of financial integrity through ECFA membership, as well as through addressing legal and tax-related issues. He is a frequent speaker on ECFA’s webinars, videos, and podcasts, as well as a regular contributor to ECFA’s library of ebooks and other written publications.

He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country, and he has served as guest on webinars, videos and podcasts for numerous Christ-centered ministries and churches. Michael lives in Winchester, Virginia, with his wife and three daughters. 

TO DO TODAY:
• Click here to visit the NonprofitBoardScore™ self-assessment and complete the free survey.
 Email the link for this easy-to-use board self-assessment to all your board members—and inspire them to complete the survey also. Then compare your results and agree on next steps for improving your God-honoring governance.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “How Healthy Is Your Board?

 


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Oct. 21, 2020, watch for the final blogpost of this series and the convenient index to all 41 blogs and guest bloggers.


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

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

LESSON 40 – You Made Me Better Than I Was

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. Stephen A. Macchia is our guest blogger this week for the fifth of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.













LESSON 40 OF 40: You Made Me Better Than I Was
Board experiences should leave all participants better than they were.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 40, the authors remind us that what matters most about all Christian nonprofit boards is the quality of their relationships. It’s their social capital that brings out the best of each member of the team, the team as a whole, and the ministry they serve together. When relationships lead board members into friendships with one another, their shared effectiveness deepens, grows, and flourishes exponentially. 

Just like in all healthy marriages, families, and friendships, so too in small groups, teams, communities, churches, and boards—we all share the same priority: relationships. And yet it’s so easy to lose sight of this big idea when we are engaged in meaningful work and get caught up in the structure, strategy, and service of our nonprofit.

Such a fitting conclusion to a powerful text. Relationships matter. They bring out our best when nurtured and strengthened around the board table. Each member and the entire board is better as a result.  

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 40, pages 217-220: 
• “The goal of every board should be to create an atmosphere where the board is better than it was before.”
• “The CEO and the board chair are ‘to set the tone for good relationships, but it is up to every individual on the board to develop, nurture, and polish good relationships.’” (Max De Pree)
 “Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to You.” (Dan Bolin)

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
It’s so easy to fall into functional relationships as boards. For multiple reasons, we focus more on the tasks at hand, desirous of being effective and productive, and ultimately assume that our relationships will form around our mission and service. But, when we don’t take the time to get to know one another as friends of God and friends of one another, we miss the joy of true and lasting relationships. 

Boards need to be filled with opportunities to share the state of our soul, the quality of our broader lives (beyond the board), and the needs of those for whom we love and serve. Learning how to share from the heart, listen attentively, and respond compassionately are relationship basics that serve boards well. 

The 50+ “one anothers” of the Scriptures (love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, etc.) provide the best commentary for how boards are to build relationships. Only then will we be “with” one another, and also “for” one another as a board. Watch how your board flourishes when the quality of your friendships leads to laughter, tears, stories, and prayer—some of the best evidences of God in the center of your relationships.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY STEPHEN A. MACCHIA:

STEPHEN A. MACCHIA is the founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. and the director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of 15 books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming A Healthy Church, Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP), and Broken and Whole (IVP). Steve is on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

TO DO TODAY:
• List the names of your fellow board members and write down what you know of their personal lives. Note the gaps in your awareness and reach out to those for whom you desire more information about their family, vocation, hobbies, and interests. 
 Become a catalyst for ever-deepening friendships around your board table. Encourage your CEO and board chair to take time each meeting for personal sharing and prayer for one another. Note the ways in which relationships become central to your effectiveness.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 40, “You Made Me Better Than I Was.”

 


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Oct. 14, 2020, watch for the commentary by Michael Martin, ECFA President, on the Bonus Lesson, “How Healthy Is Your Board? Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.” 


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

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

LESSON 39 – Identify Your Key Assumptions

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. Ed McDowell is our guest blogger this week for the fourth of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.












LESSON 
39 OF 40: Identify Your Key Assumptions
An inaccurate premise may lead to a colossal flop!

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 39, the authors note that identifying and agreeing on assumptions is critical to effective decision making. Assumptions are critical in dealing with short-term situations and long-term shifts in trends. Making inspirational decisions filled with incredible tactics can lead to a complete miss if the assumptions are wrong. On the other hand, inspirational decisions built on vetted and agreed upon assumptions can create synergy and alignment that build momentum and increase mission effectiveness.   

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 39, pages 209-216:
On page 216, there are three action steps for the board, followed by a prayer. If you do nothing else with this chapter, pray the prayer as a board and follow the action steps of Allocate, Assess, and Advise. 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
This pandemic season is challenging nearly every assumption every nonprofit has operated on. I am the CEO of a vibrant camp and conference center. We work with groups of people. Large groups of people. Guess what? Nearly every operating assumption we have relied on does not work in this environment.  

We immediately established a new list of assumptions and began updating them every two weeks as we began to learn the scope and depth of COVID-19. Our largest gathering occurs in December during a Christmas festival where 70,000 people come. Guess what? Gatherings like that are not being permitted in our part of the country this year.  

With that reality, we decided we could turn this festival into a drive-through experience, use technology, and, simply by re-examining our assumptions on how to serve our community with the limitations on social gatherings—we could get at this another way. 

We have also adopted the assumption that we will not see 2019 levels of ministry until 2022 at the earliest. The time between now and then is going to be lean, creative, and adaptive. 

Here is the point—aggressively working assumptions can be so helpful in creating a baseline for alignment, decisions, tactics, and communication.  

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY ED McDOWELL:

ED McDOWELL is the CEO of WBC Ministries in Washington State. Ed also provides consulting to many faith-based nonprofits on board development, CEO growth, and organizational health. 

TO DO TODAY:
• Write down three assumptions that are no longer working. Own the fact that life has moved on.
 Have a meaningful discussion with another leader on the top-three assumptions you need to consider for the next six months.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 39, “Identify Your Key Assumptions.”

 


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Oct. 7, 2020, watch for the commentary by Steve Macchia on Lesson 40, “You Made Me Better Than I Was. Board experiences should leave all participants better than they were.”


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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

LESSON 38 – Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu

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. Constantino (Connie) Salios is our guest blogger this week for the third of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.




LESSON 
38 OF 40 – Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu 
Board service is for a season—but it is not forever!

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Joining a board is often an exciting challenge that can help to accelerate a nonprofit or ministry and provide you with an opportunity to make a significant contribution. But over time many factors can begin to dilute the fit, effectiveness, interest, and energy—and these all could be signals that it might be time to leave the board and offer room for some “fresh air” to enter.

The authors provide seven common reasons why it may be time to move on and resign from the board and they offer a productive checklist for board members to review annually.  As Busby and Pearson remind us in the chapter heading, “board service is for a season—but it is not forever!” 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 38, pages 202-208: 
• 
“When your passion to serve on the board has left the building, it is time to step off the board.”
 “Joining the board for the wrong reason is one thing—staying on a board after you realize that your motives were improper is something else. Quickly find an exit ramp!
 “If you are serving as the lone dissenting board member—dissenting about the ministry’s direction—or in conflict with other board members or the CEO, your service has effectively ended. Take the right step and resign.” 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
Knowing when to leave a board is often an easier decision when you know clearly why you joined in the first place. In my experience, boards invite you to join for three primary reasons:  your ability to contribute as a donor, your name and prestige, and your knowledge and potential to contribute with your influence. And usually in that order. 

Resting on top of this foundation should also include your passion for the ministry or nonprofit, your ability to work in collaboration with other board members, a focus on results, and your organizational and governance experience. Now the potential for impact and meaningful service are in place and board service can be enjoyed and productive for all.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY CONSTANTINO (CONNIE) SALIOS:


CONSTANTINO (CONNIE) SALIOS was a co-founder of Kalty Salios (1977), manufacturer’s representatives, and Retail Store Services (1986), a retail merchandising company providing in-store service to over 900 Home Depot stores in the west and southeast regions of the U.S. In 2005, both companies were acquired by Advantage Sales and Marketing, the largest consumer packaged goods sales and merchandising company in North America, to provide their platform for national growth in the home center and hardware retail channels.

Connie completed his graduate studies in Organizational Leadership in 2002 at Biola University and for eight years served as an Adjunct Professor teaching Practical Leadership Theory, Strategy Formulation, and Strategy Implementation.

Connie also served for six years as National Managing Partner of The Barnabas Group—directing the national growth of this ministry that connects the time, talent, touch, and treasure of Christian marketplace leaders with ministry opportunities. 

Currently, Connie informally coaches, consults, and serves on nonprofit boards (Free Wheelchair Mission, Biola Innovation and Entrepreneurship LaunchPad), for-profit boards (Kellogg Garden Supply, HARBRO Emergency and Restoration), and ministry boards (The Barnabas Group, Beachpoint Church).

TO DO TODAY:
• Review board expectations annually, as a best practice, and make timely changes as needed. 
 Complete a personal evaluation annually to make sure you still belong and can make a contribution. 
 And remember that we all have a “shelf life.” Like many of the items in our pantry, the date may have passed or is getting close for us to move on. Celebrate your time on the board, and free up your seat for the next generation. As Dr. Henry Cloud says: “Wise people know when to quit.”
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 38, “Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu.”


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On 
Sept. 30, 2020, watch for the commentary by Ed McDowell on Lesson 39, “Identify Your Key Assumptions. An inaccurate premise may lead to a colossal flop!”


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

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

LESSON 37 – How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom?

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. Brian Heerwagen is our guest blogger this week for the second of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.





LESSON 
37 OF 40: How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom?
It’s more than just answering the roll call.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 37, the authors point out it is difficult for board members to be truly focused and “all in” when they are preoccupied by their own lives and workloads outside the board room. Electronic devices are noticeable distractions, but we also inadvertently create an environment for minds to wander—by having meetings that are too long, happen too frequently, or occur in settings that are not conducive to being focused.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 37, pages 198-201:
Whether it is avoiding technological interruptions or addressing other issues that detract from a focused board meeting, finding a way to maximize the total presence of all board members is vital.
• Minimizing boardroom distractions will maximize meeting impact and enhance the possibility of hearing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
Board members join the board because they care about the organization and they truly plan on giving their all to the new leadership position. I love to capitalize on those great intentions from the start.  

During recruiting and all the way through orientation, I express genuine gratitude for all they bring to the board with their many gifts and experiences. But I’m also very candid with them that I expect 100 percent focus in how they do their prep work for board meetings as well as how they contribute during board meetings. 

I share these thoughts with them in the following context: as much as they’ll need to give their all to our board at certain times throughout the year, I am fully aware that there are periods of time in-between our board meetings when they will be liberated from such intense focus on our board—allowing them to give their all to other needs. 

I respect that their involvement on our board is a gift, and I recognize upfront that they wear many hats and therefore have many decisions to make about how to spend time and resources. It is good to set boundaries and permissions that are clear and liberating.

If we have 1) the right number of meetings (not too many), 2) provide all the communication and materials ahead of time, and 3) conduct a tight, power-packed agenda each time, then we have the liberty to require their utmost attention at those times. What a joy to harness the energy and leadership of a great board!
 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY BRIAN HEERWAGEN:

BRIAN HEERWAGEN is the CEO of SOE (Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions). He has been on countless short-term ministries and has partnered with nationals and long-term missionaries in 29 countries. Brian has also served on boards as a member, vice chair, and chair. He is the lead author of the collaborative work, The Next Mile, Short-Term Missions for the Long Haul, with more than 30,000 books sold. He has also been a church missions pastor for more than 20 years. Brian is married to Lorraine and they have three married daughters and four grandchildren. They live in Portland, Ore.

TO DO TODAY:
• Determine: How many board meetings (how few?) are sufficient, yet will still be power-packed and focused—but without compromising on community and communication?
Inspire: Create an atmosphere of 100 percent focus by encouraging board members to be “all in” in their 1) preparations for the meeting, and 2) while attending the meeting. Then give board members permission to be 100 percent focused on other things when it’s not “our board time.”
Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 37, “How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom?


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On 
Sept. 23, 2020, watch for the commentary by Constantino (Connie) Salios on Lesson 38, “Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu. Board service is for a season—but it is not forever!”


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

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

LESSON 36 - Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel

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. Steve Altick is our guest blogger this week for the first of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.


LESSON 36 OF 40: Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel
Golden opportunities are missed when a board’s eyes are wide shut.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Boards have routines for meetings and board members develop expectations of what the meeting will be like. If meetings do not involve and engage board members, they will succumb to drowsiness and lose motivation to engage in the agenda. So examine your board meeting routines.

Board organization and responsibilities need to be understood and involve all members. If board members are not all on the right page, they may fall asleep. The board leadership is responsible for involving and challenging board members—inspiring them to stay mission-focused, and to stay within the established board policies.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 36, pages 194-197:
• It all starts with recruiting the right board members who understand their role and the policies and procedures that govern the board.
• Board members must learn to focus on the big picture, be insightful and ask for information.
• Boards must understand the difference between operations and oversight, the biblical example of the “hireling” and the shepherd (John 10). Ownership of the ministry is the key to staying awake. 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
When I was flying fighter aircraft, your life literally depended on using the checklist. If you were asleep or not focused, it could be serious. One day I missed taking the safety pins out of the ejection seat, which meant if I had needed to eject in an emergency—the seat would not have worked. So after the mission, when I went to put the safety pins in the seat, I realized they had never been removed—a lesson learned!

I recall an organization that recruited new board members from the business community. They had resources needed by the ministry. But with no training and expectations regarding their board roles—they were inattentive to much of the board’s business. Eyes wide shut!

Finally, each board member brings unique gifts and insights to the board team. As a board member, it’s important to understand these unique differences—and to support and participate in whatever the board is discussing. That’s the key to success and staying awake! 
 

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY STEVE ALTICK:


STEVE ALTICK served as the CEO at Camp Berachah Ministries (now Black Diamond Camps) for 33 years. He also served in leadership with Christian Camp & Conference Association as sectional president, regional director, and board chair.  He is a Vietnam Veteran with 23 years of service. He remains associated with Black Diamond Camp and is active as a consultant with camps and nonprofits. Steve and his wife, Kathy, reside in Yakima, Wash.

 TO DO TODAY:
• Have your board do a self-evaluation on their actual experience versus their expectations when they first joined the board.
Review past minutes and agendas to evaluate the allocation of “board time” invested in your various agenda items. Are you investing your time appropriately?
Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 36, “Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel.”


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On 
Sept. 16, 2020, watch for the commentary by Brian Heerwagen on Lesson 37, “How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom? It’s more than just answering the roll call.”


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

BONUS LESSON – Index to 40 Blogs

OUR FINAL BLOG! We hope you’ve found value for your board in More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog , this 40-week journey through t...