3 D’s to Spice up Your Next Nonprofit Board MeetingPosted: May 21, 2013
I have always liked the idea of bringing in a staff person (preferably with a client) to present a short story of “service success” to the Board. It is a quick opener and, over time, provides a more in-depth understanding of what the organization is really about. It can also help to build a bridge between key decision makers and those in the trenches. I consider this part of the Disclose session of a Board meeting. That also includes presenting key metrics in a concise way to report on current and long-term performance. It is through Disclose that the second phase of the meeting can evolve. I call that Discuss. Issues that have emerged as the most critical in Disclose can be prioritized and openly dissected. This is where the CEO and top management should be asking questions- especially of Board members with expertise in the subject matter- and doing much more listening than talking. The loops should then get closed in Decide. Decisions are made, more information is requested as necessary or an executive session is arranged.
I believe that dynamic, think on your feet meetings are more stimulating to Board members and productive for the organizations they serve. Unfortunately, in some nonprofits this type of interaction may only occur once every year or two during a strategic planning session. Disclose-Discuss-Decide could be helpful in addressing important issues raised by your group.