Board dysfunction is common and dangerous among most NPOs and NPHOs. But a balanced board can effectively lead in times of change or hardship. So how does a board go from broken to unstoppable?
Board Members become Board Members for three reasons:
- To effect change in a cause they feel personally invested in
- Because they were asked by someone else to join
- To fulfill a self-serving agenda
That’s the reality. Not everyone is there to change the world. But that’s okay because everyone the motives become irrelevant if people are working together for the greater good. Understanding that is the first step to creating board harmony. Here are some other tips:
Let your board know that they are contributing to the betterment of your organization and they’re actually making a difference. Small gestures and recognition goes a long way.
Keep Them Informed
As your trust board, they should be privilege to internal operations like finances and outcomes. Let them know the true state of things and they’ll be more inclined to help. Also, being transparent helps establish trust both ways. They’ll feel like they’re part of a special inner circle and you’ll feel like an honest leader.
Ask For Feedback
Your board is there for a reason. Even if some of your people aren’t super vocal, they still want to be heard. Make it feel like a democracy and show them they have a voice within your organization.
Take A Retreat
Sometimes little pockets or cliques can form within an organization. When that becomes visible, it might be necessary to hold a retreat so that you can show them what it means to appreciate one another. Inspire your board to feel like they need each other.
Many of us tend to check our phones throughout meetings. It’s become an awful compulsion. Check phones at the door next time and see how much everyone focuses.
In the end, it’s all about making your people feel like they belong there. And if someone truly doesn’t belong there, it’s time to replace them. Letting someone go could actually be one of the hardest parts of running a board. But do it in the interest of your board and your mission.
Download our Establishing Board Harmony In Your Nonprofit Healthcare Organization eBook and learn more about how a few simple shifts in thought and structure can make all the difference in your board.