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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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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The “how we work together” meeting with the chief executive

The board chair and the chief executive need to work as partners. The success that you each have separately and together can hinge upon the success of the relationship and the quality of support you provide each other. The best board chair and chief executive relationships are those where the two work together as a …
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The Board Chair Report Card

While a good board chair will ensure that there is an annual evaluation of the chief executive, it is exceedingly rare to hear of a nonprofit that has in place an evaluation of the board chair—yet imagine how helpful that feedback might be! One of the great services of BoardSource, a tremendous resource for governance …
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