Boards in the not-for-profit sector, and particularly public library boards, have the opportunity to make significant contributions to the quality of life and work in their communities. This does not happen by chance, however. Boards need to be strategic, aligned for effectiveness and high-performing.
Effective board governance ensures that the roles of the director/CEO, board chair and directors/trustees are understood and reflected in organizational planning and assessment. The Board ensures strategic directions on behalf of the community, engages a director/CEO to realize their priorities and monitors and assesses fiscal and programmatic effectiveness. Too often the Board is unable to distinguish managerial oversight from policy governance and accountability.
Board development focuses on orientation and training to develop high-performing boards, with set criteria and measures.
Our approach to authentic board governance begins with a research-based overview of the criteria and characteristics of high performing boards. These criteria include:
- Mission and Purpose Driven; Constructive Partnership with the CEO/Director;
- Clear Roles and Responsibilities; Strategic Planning and Allocation of Resources;
- Inquiry and Accountability; Transparency and Integrity;
- Monitor and Evaluate Finances and Programs;
- Ensure Resources and Support; Board Development and Renewal.
Typically we conduct surveys and interviews to inform us of perceptions and gaps in actual and preferred behaviours. We match criteria for performance with areas requiring attention. We also introduce several intentional practices which affect Board performance including a board structure supporting the board’s role and purpose, a clear role for the chair, approaches to effective meetings, and use of consent agendas. We provide tools and techniques for ongoing assessment and improvement.
Board Governance Sample Projects
Individual presentations and retreats on effective governance, from 90 minutes to three days, using criteria for success; incorporate self-assessments for planning for longer sessions. Provincial/state-wide curriculum for Board and trustee development, including articulation of roles of directors/CEOs, chairs and associations in developing and delivering sequenced programs, using a trainer of trainers model.
- Team Development and Coaching (we are certified by Team Coaching International) with seven criteria for productivity and seven criteria for positivity or connectedness
- Sample speeches, presentations, training sessions, webinars:
- Annual Reports
- Building Advocacy and Influence
- Effective Meetings
- Selecting the CEO/Director
- Evaluating the CEO/Director
- High-Performing Boards: Criteria for Success
- Role of the Chair
- Strategic Planning
- Trustee Bootcamp
All work is research- and evidence-based.