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.
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!”