Whether you are a volunteer leader of an association or an association staff member, its critical that you are doing everything you can to help your Board of Directors perform at its best. Hopefully the reason is obvious – if a Board is performing at its best, the association it is leading should achieve its mission.
Traditionally there are many avenues pursued to help Board’s achieve “greatness”. There is Board orientation, Board training, rules of conduct, understanding of roles and responsibilities and more.
I read an article on this subject in Association’s Now recently that was very interesting. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has conducted a three year long study into successful associations and, in particular, what the Board’s of successful associations are doing. The findings probably won’t surprise you but they will definitely give you something to think about.
1. Successful Boards are focused on strategic issues. Not just once every three years, but all the time.
2. Successful Boards are committed to training and hold themselves (as a Board and as Board members) accountable.
3. Successful Boards have solid Board member recruitment and mentoring efforts in place constantly, not just once a year.
The article goes on to recommend that associations form a Board Development Committee whose responsibility goes beyond future Board member recruitment. The committee can help to form the culture of the Board. Its members can mentor current and new Board members and can help to keep the Board focused on the things that will make it successful.
Do you have a Board Development Committee that goes beyond recruitment? Are there other qualities of a successful Board that you’ve witnessed? Share them here.