Episode 23: Strengthening a Disconnected BoardMay 31, 2022
"The impact of the pandemic has left the board less connected to what we are doing in the organization. How can I strengthen relationships with our board of directors."
The tension of many Executive Directors I talk with is the delicate balance of reporting to the board and leading their board. The board governs the organization and yet as Executive Director the health of the board is your responsibility.
Well, it’s not surprising that the pandemic took a toll on relationships! Crisis has a way of doing that and with the separateness and isolation we experienced in this particular crisis, you’re probably not alone in having to manage some of the relational impact on your board.
Where has the connection most significantly been lost?
If they’re disconnected to the mission – they might not know all the things you are doing because you’ve been meeting less or not “in person” it’s easy to lose pace with what’s going on. It’s worth taking the time to bullseye what has been lost so that you can target that bullseye with how you want to re-connect.
When you talk about the connection being lost, what is it that you need from them?
Once you have a “bullseye” it’s time to drill down and get specific on what it is that you really need from them. If you were to imagine a future where your board is “in it with you.” What would they be doing? How would it help you? What would they gain? If you were to ask them to do the one thing that is most important to you, what would it be?
What do they need that they don’t have today to pursue that connection?
If you’ve been thinking through the questions I’ve mentioned so far . . . and you see what’s disconnected and what it would be like to have the connection you want, then it’s time to ask yourself: What does your board need that they don’t have right now to strengthen that connection?
- INFORMATION: Do they have the information they need?
- IMPACT: How do they experience the realities of work you do and its impact?
- INSPIRATION: So, what’s the long game? How does that inspire your board members?
Hey, it could just be that your situation is a board of directors composed of friends and colleagues that came together to launch this ministry. It could just be simple relationship building strategies to get back to that space as friends and colleagues on a mission.
So, get on the phone, behind zoom or over coffee and ask a few questions. Find out where they are at and what they need because needs may have changed! You know me, I’m always a champion of questions.
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