You’ve heard the old saying, “If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.” Busy people who get things done – not people who make themselves busy working on their procrastination habits. (Been there!)
Busy, productive people have a way to cut through the clutter and get to the heart of the matter. Don’t be surprised if you happen to notice those same skills in the savvy directors on your board. Not to worry … you are not be that far from being there too.
Today’s blog post is all about what to do when the board package arrives ahead of the upcoming meeting. Ideally, it would arrive at least a week in advance, giving you plenty of time to review it. But don’t count on it. Life happens. The board itself is ultimately accountable for the quality of the information it receives, but responsibility for putting the package together rests with management.
And management takes its direction from the board. If you, as a board director,...
“Is this something I want to do?” “Is it time for me to start thinking about serving on boards at this point in my career?” “Am I already over committed and on too many boards?” “Would I agree to serve on this board just to make some money? Oh, it’s a volunteer position – I’ve done my share of those.” Maybe you can relate to this dilemma. I know I can.
I’m pretty sure a savvy director would have a baseline list of questions at the ready to determine if this opportunity was a good fit for their director skills, capacity and overall interest - or a better fit for someone else. They would have seen this movie before. They would recall getting involved with a board without doing their homework first, and then finding themselves eagerly waiting for their first term to expire.
On the other hand, if you’re a savvy director in-waiting - an up-and-coming director who realizes you...
Some of you know this story … my first board meeting fifteen years ago was a disaster – a horrific experience really. I had been asked to represent the regional chapter of my professional association on the national board. Then, while I was flying to Toronto to attend my first meeting, my local group sent a letter to the chair of the national board demanding that the CEO be replaced, without me knowing about it.
How do you think that went over with my new board?
What kind of welcome mat do you think they rolled out for this new director? I got killed.
Not only was this my first meeting with the national board – it was my first board meeting ever! As you can imagine, there is more to the story and we can save that for another day. For now, let’s just say my chapter had vocalized the ‘elephant in the room’ by writing that letter – the organization had been hemorrhaging membership for many years – but the execution was deeply flawed,...
When you accepted your board appointment, you assumed responsibility for more than just showing up for meetings and hoping for the best. Your commitment to prepare thoroughly and think through strategic issues is critical to your board meeting’s success.
Boards are looking for people who are willing to put in the time and do the work to make an impact. The directors’ challenge is that they have limited time to meet face-to-face, so it’s crucial they use the available time effectively. Ensuring that board meetings are effective comes down to each board member being well prepared. This allows the board to focus on moving forward with strategic issues, instead of spending time reviewing background information and reports that were available before the meeting.
For you, the individual board member, being ready all comes down to following a process. This process is captured in our ROCK Model®.
"Failing to prepare is preparing to fail."
- John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach
DirectorPrep.com is here to help you – the individual board director – be ready for your next board meeting. Being ready all comes down to following a process to make sure you are well prepared to have an impact on board discussions. And the better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel.
So you’ve just received your package of board material – the agenda, the minutes of the last meeting, management reports, financial statements, charts and statistics, proposals, etc. Now what? How exactly do you prepare?
How To Prepare
Just follow DirectorPrep’s ROCK model® to make sure you are ready:
And ask yourself some of DirectorPrep.com’s Self-Preparedness Questions before the meeting. Even the most seasoned directors find it valuable to review questions like these to ensure they are in the right head space going into a board meeting.