Blog Single

07 Dec

The Cost of Bad Board Members

Today I got a note about my new book, On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service from “Fred,” a long-time communal leaders in his 60s. After congratulating me about the book, he wrote that he hopes to “[N]ever be on a board again. . . .One of my biggest problems with board members is that they do not attend meetings, do not study the issues, and most to not have any experience in the first place. . . .Most board members don’t have a clue what their responsibilities are or how to fulfill them.”

His frustration is real and shared by many. (It is why I wrote the book!) Board members who under-perform or don’t perform aren’t just taking up space on the board or distracting from the work at hand,  they can actually be driving away good board members. This is at an enormous cost to the organization and its mission.

How can organizations avoid paying this high price? First, spend time on a thoughtful and rigorous nominating process that includes a job description, an application and/or an interview to assess the skills, experience and commitment of potential board members. Second, clearly outline board members responsibilities in a board service agreement. Third, provide resources and training to board members on their roles and responsibilities.  Fourth, have a clear policy for board attendance and participation and enforce it. Don’t be afraid to remove a board member for not fulfilling their responsibilities.

Board service should be a positive experience. Don’t turn off good people by allowing bad behavior by a few.

To your success,

Nanette

P.S. My new book, On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service, is now available on Amazon

 

Related Posts

Comments

There are 1 comments on this post.

  1. glaze1219

    December 7, 2014

    nice post xoxo Rachel L. Glazer President & Chief Creative Officer Rachel G Events LLC 617-835-1491

    From: Nanette’s Notes To: glaze1219@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, December 7, 2014 3:21 PM Subject: [New post] The Cost of Bad Board Members #yiv2511802442 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2511802442 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2511802442 a.yiv2511802442primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2511802442 a.yiv2511802442primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2511802442 a.yiv2511802442primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2511802442 a.yiv2511802442primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2511802442 WordPress.com | Nanette Fridman posted: “Today I got a note about my new book, On Board: What Current and Aspiring Board Members Must Know About Nonprofits & Board Service from “Fred,” a long-time communal leaders in his 60s. After congratulating me about the book, he wrote that he hopes to ” | |

  2. Comments are closed.