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BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

They are volunteers, too!
Look here for information 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.

~October 2011~


SUCCESSION PLANNING

Bob was recruited last month to serve on the Board of Directors.  This month he was elected President of the Board.  What is wrong with this picture?  Everything. 

A board president  or advisory committee chair is a key decision maker, financial watchdog, a recruiter of new members, spokesperson for the organization, innovative thinker, and partner with the administrative leadership.  A board president needs depth of experience to keep the nonprofit ship afloat and guide other less experienced board members.  An advisory board chair needs wisdom, wide ranging understanding of public policy, how to work in a bureaucratic system, good connections, and patience to lead a fruitful advisory team.

Be it a board of directors or an advisory board there needs to be succession planning for leadership positions, not just nabbing who every is willing to say yes.  Succession planning is having the right people in place to step into leadership positions; officers or committee chairs. 

Glenn Tecker refers to succession planning as an organization’s “leadership pipeline.” He suggests three things to consider in succession planning:

  1. Be sure those chosen for leadership positions have sufficient experiences in the organization to build the competencies needed to become effective as a leader.
  2. Engage potential leaders in work with “good” board members to learn from the experiences of others;
  3. Make sure all members, but especially leaders, are exposed to outstanding and innovative thinkers who encourage them to “stretch beyond current common wisdom. “

Glenn H. Tecker, Kermit M. Eide and Jean S. Frankel, Building a Knowledge-Based Culture, American Society of Association Executives Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1997, page 9.

In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action. Aristotle

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