Insights from Starboard

We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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Board meetings can help with team building

If you have led or supervised a group of employees, you know that building an effective team that works well together takes ongoing and consistent effort. The same is true for a board of directors. You certainly can’t assume that a group of board members, coming together four, six, or twelve times a year is …
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Tips for meetings that focus on strategic issues

A recurring theme in my board governance workshops and in my writing is the value of ensuring that board meetings include discussion and consideration of strategic issues. As board members, we know we have to do a certain amount of what I call “monitoring,” but board service gets more interesting, and our potential for meaningful …
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Move your board to the strategic level

In 2005, as I was beginning my consulting career, I picked up Governance as Leadership by Richard P. Chait, William P. Ryan, and Barbara E. Taylor. What I took away from their book was the message that boards need to do their work in three modes—what they described as “fiduciary,” “strategic,” and “generative.” The authors …
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The key to developing successful board meetings

As a new board chair, it would be a major mistake to assume that the chief executive will develop the board meeting agenda and that you’ll simply show-up at the meeting and follow the “script” or, worse, hand-off most of the duties to the chief executive. The board is YOUR team, this is YOUR meeting, …
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Preparing board members for strategic discussions

As you develop your board meeting agenda, take the time to consider each topic and ask, “What information, education, or explanation will board members need in order to fully participate in the discussion and make a decision?” Without a shared base of knowledge, board members are either forced to sit on the sidelines and not …
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Structuring the agenda for your first board meeting as chair

One of the most visible and obvious roles of the board chair is to run the board meetings. Once a month, once a quarter, or whatever your meeting schedule may be, your leadership ability takes center stage. While others will play support roles during these meetings, it is you who will need to take the …
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