Boost Your Board's Performance
With our current focus on women leaders, we have found many of these women spend their “spare time” serving on Boards, usually Non-Profit Boards. Some of these women have brought us in to work with their Boards. Yes, in the area of improving team performance.
We have noticed some key differences between Corporate Teams and Boards, and want to share with you some of things we’ve been learning.
The Differences Between Boards and Teams
Here is what we have found:
Board Members are usually volunteers versus owners or employees
Non Profit Board Members, are there because they are deeply passionate about the vision, mission of organization, not because of the paycheck
Boards need to operate like a team, but without many regular face-to-face meetings.
Boards deal with governance, policy and procedure, which can run counter to being real and personal with each other.
Still, with all these differences, we are finding Boards thirsty for our teamwork, and for us, working with Boards, has been incredibly satisfying.
Boards Thirsty for Teamwork, Why?
The first big reason is that if someone is volunteering their time on a Board, they are generally completely bought-in, and passionate about, the vision of the organization.
However, that doesn’t mean that each Board Member doesn’t bring their unique spin on how that vision should be carried out! As a result, there’s a high need for Boards to quickly adapt, and develop ways of dealing effectively with conflict.
Secondly, Boards have precious and limited time together, and it is critical for a Board to quickly develop trust, and not waste time with positioning, or politics!
Boards, maybe even more than teams, need to invest time upfront, with new board members, to ensure there are fast, effective ways to on-board them – through building trust, developing skills and tools for engaging in healthy conflict, and gaining commitment quickly.
Finally, Boards usually only meet quarterly, and scatter off into committees. If a Board is not clear, aligned, and committed to collective results, the work done is certain to become ineffective, and often redundant, across those committees.
A Tall Responsibility
As volunteers, Board Members have taken a significant challenge: governance and legal accountability for the integrity and growth of an organization. That is not light and playful stuff.
We have found that because of these challenges, Boards are thrilled, and committed to, finding ways to bring more joy and fulfillment to their work in order counter the often laborious and heavy responsibility that can be tied to being a Board Member.
We think Boards are best when they are able to balance that tall responsibility with some time and energy invested in building relational health, and ensuring the group has the skills, and tools, to get to clarity and creative outcomes.It is a whole different experience when a Board is engaged and cohesive.It saves so much time and energy!
Don’t Underestimate ROI of Teamwork
If you’re on a Board, don’t underestimate the value of investing in some teamwork in order to more effectively achieve your outcomes! We are happy to help!!
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke
Coaches, Business Consultants, Speakers and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict
CrisMarie and Susan work leaders and teams, couples in business, and professional women.
They help turnaround dysfunctional teams into high performing, cohesive teams who trust each other, deal with differences directly, and have clarity and alignment on their business strategy so they create great results.
Check out their website: www.thriveinc.com. Connect with CrisMarie and Susan on LinkedIn. Watch their TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! Find your copy of The Beauty of Conflict: Harnessing Your Team's Competitive Advantage here.