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Look here for infomation and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ January 2003 ~ Topic

Are You Sure What You Planned To Do Is What You Need To Do?

The New Year is a good time for your board to review the strategic plan as well as for individual committees to review their action plans. Not only does this provide a chance to acknowledge and celebrate successes but, even more important, it is a way to determine if the remaining goals are still the priorities they appeared to be when the plan was written.

A plan is a management tool and must reflect the changing internal and external environment of an organization. Effective organizations are always working to keep ahead of change rather than becoming mired in goals that may have been absolutely relevant a while ago but are no longer as important as they seemed.

One approach to this is to tape as many pieces of flip chart paper around the room as there are members of the board or committee. Have each member go to a paper and write what he/she thinks was the most important accomplishment of the past year. Share these with each other. Have everyone stand and give themselves a standing ovation for these accomplishments.

Then have each person go back and write what she/he thinks are the most important challenges for the coming year. Discuss which of these challenges might need to become priorities for the year. See if they match the goals you articulated in your planning for the year. If not, discuss what changes might need to be made in your plan.

A periodic evaluation not only helps a board or committee renew itself and refocus its energy, it also is a good way to remind it that there is a plan in place, and that that plan needs to be reexamined on occasion. If no changes are required, the dedication to the plan is strengthened. If changes are necessary then the plan will be strengthened. Either way, the organization will be strengthened.

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Other good sources for information on boards and committees:

Jeanne H. Bradner

Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, Passionate Volunteerism, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum. 

Send your comments and questions to Jeannebrad@aol.com

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