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What Boards Should Do

We are often asked to help with “Board Development” and we always politely decline. Generally speaking, spending time on “Board Development” treats the symptom not the disease.

Here’s our take.

Board Members have 3 duties:

  1. Hire and fire the ED;
  2. Make sure the organization follows the law; and
  3. Serve as fiscal stewards, looking 12-36 months down the road to make sure the organizaton has solid finances and a revenue stream to match its programmatic ambitions (yes, this means helping generate revenue.)

When an organization has a concise business plan, with a clear vision of success, milestones, metrics, financial projections, and clear dashboards (both programmatic and financial), being on a board is productive and enjoyable.  And it’s easy to find new board members.

Without a solid plan like this and its concomitant simplicity, transparency and accountability, being a board member can be a frustrating time sponge.  Which is why so much ink is spilled, we suspect, on the topic of Board Development.

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