Thursday, April 3, 2008

Prepare for Boarding

This week I’ve been in a couple of discussions about how boards of directors are built and function. Stuart Taylor at IDE-Canada compared boards that are made up primarily of major donors (large scale investments lead to positions of influence), with those who are brought together for their professional credentials (“We need a lawyer, a physician, an educator, a politician, etc.”). Then I was at a board meeting for Compassion Society last night where the board is made up of people who are strongly committed to the cause and are active in a lot of grassroots activity.
What works best? I don’t know yet. I’m sure board members need to be prepared to be more than just figureheads, but in what types of capacity and what types of activity? My hunch is that what is most important is that all involved parties clearly understand the expectations of the board and the structures needed to support and maximize the effectiveness of whatever board is established.
In the next couple weeks I’m looking forward to reading The Imperfect Board Member (first recommended to me by John Latta from Canadian Youth Network) to gain some more insight on this.

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