Follow by Email

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.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

LESSON 35 - Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the 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. Hans Finzel is our guest blogger this week for the fourth of four lessons in "Part 9: Holy Ground and Other Locations.” 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 35 OF 40: Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom
Invest 80 percent of your board work on future ministry opportunities—not rehashing the past.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: 
In Lesson 35, the authors note that most of our time (80%) should be focused on the future, not rehashing the past. Some board members might be tempted to spend too much board meeting time rehashing past failures or roadblocks. It is the job of the board chair and the CEO to make sure that most of the board meetings are devoted to looking forward with trends and opportunities that are around the next corner. 

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 35, pages 185-191: 
Great boards appoint a “Readers Are Leaders” champion—a book zealot who inspires the board to read and discuss at least one future-focused book each year. This practice assures that your board is giving real time to thinking and strategizing about the future. 

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
The 80/20 rule applies to so many aspects of leadership and organizational health. This chapter embarks on a new application of that principle to board meetings. As the board, we must focus on the future not just spend most of our time micro-managing the past in our rear-view mirrors!

I am a huge fan—like most of us leaders—of the wisdom of Peter Drucker. Long after he has gone on to his reward, he continues to influence so many Christian ministries. As the protectors of the ministry, we on the board have to anticipate the upcoming opportunities and threats that face us. 

Drucker said that systematic innovation includes leveraging seven sources of innovation opportunity. Drucker said to watch for three changes outside of your organizations, including 1) demographics 2) changes in perception, mood, and meaning, and 3) new knowledge. This is the kind of heavy lifting that a board must spend the majority of their time dealing with.

Where does your board spend most of their time? The past? The present or the future? The 80/20 rule is a great way to assure you are managing precious board resources effectively. 

  
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY 
DR. HANS FINZEL:


DR. HANS FINZEL is a successful author, speaker and trusted authority in the field of leadership. For 20 years he served as President of international non-profit WorldVenture, working in over 65 countries. Hans speaks, writes and teaches practical leadership principles. He has written 11 books, including his international bestseller, The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. Having trained leaders on five continents in his career, his books have been translated into over 25 foreign languages. Today he serves as President of HDLeaders and teaches and speaks globally on all things leadership. 

TO DO TODAY:
• Choose a book that your board will read that is future-focused.
 Study the minutes of your last two board meetings. Analyze how much time was spent looking back and how much looking forward. Make adjustments for your next meeting.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 35, “Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom.”


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Sept. 9, 2020, watch for the commentary by Steve Altick on Lesson 36, “Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel. Golden opportunities are missed when a board’s eyes are wide shut.”


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...