Three habits of a fully engaged board
A leading governance study by Strategic Leverage Partners found several key differences between organizations with fully engaged boards and those who were not as engaged.
Take a look at some of the key takeaways from their study, and consider where your own organization’s board measures up, and where there might be room for improvement.
Key characteristics of a fully engaged board:
1. Their board meetings are not dominated by one or two people.
A board made up of a wide range of personalities is great for achieving a breadth of different perspectives. But keep in mind that some personality types can be more domineering than others. Ensure that there is someone in the room during board meetings who will help facilitate conversations and create space for everyone’s voice to be heard in the event that one or two voices begin to overwhelm the discussions.
2. They spend more time at board meetings in lively debate of strategic issues.
As long as the topic and purpose is clearly defined and stays on track, lively debate is one of the best ways to generate fresh ideas, hear from a variety of perspectives and explore the “why” behind your strategy.
3. They spend more time on board education and development, and the person responsible for briefing the board is effective.
A board cannot be effective unless the members are well-informed, up-to-date and have opportunities for professional development.
Boards should always be briefed on developments within the organization and the industry as whole. Too little information is a problem, but sometimes too much information is an even bigger problem. Board briefings should include the information board members need to be make informed decisions, but not more than they need. Board briefings too heavy in unnecessary detail can result in a lot of wasted time or steer meetings away from key agenda items.
To see the full list of characteristics of a fully engaged board, check out the newly-released 2017 Ontario Non-Profit Housing Board of Directors Profile Survey Report. It provides comprehensive benchmarks on the governance of non-profit housing providers across Ontario, from board composition and scope, to decision-making, recruitment, succession planning and more.
This tool can help boards:
• Benchmark their practices
• Plan for the future and recruit in the right mix of board members to govern in a modernized sector
• Stay on top of big picture trends in a rapidly changing sector
ONPHA housing members can purchase the full report at a deeply discounted rate.
Governance Essentials: Learn Online in 2018
In today’s rapidly evolving sector, heightened expectations around organizational accountability have driven the board’s role to the forefront. Strong governance requires boards to be knowledgeable, nimble and proactive. ONPHA’s online course, Governance essentials: Leading within a changing sector, covers the core elements of transformational governance for non-profit housing providers, to help build focused, sustainable and responsive organizations.
The course can be completed over a three-month period from any internet-enabled computer, smartphone or tablet, and our next round of courses begins January 1, 2018.