Board Evaluation & Effectiveness

ByMichael Ambjorn

Board Evaluation & Effectiveness

This week is #trusteesweek here in the UK where I am based. It is an opportunity to take stock of the opportunities available to leaders looking to impact the non-profit sector.

For the IABC International Executive Board – who also serve as Trustees of the IABC Foundation – it is also an opportunity to step back and reflect. Why? The annual board evaluation is coming up at today’s board meeting.

We’ve committed to doing this annually in line with good board practice for non-profits – and in fact, it is good practice for all types of boards. Whether public, commercial or charitable as messrs. Cameron & Archer outline here . Do also see the Venn they’ve kindly lent me for this purpose (used as the header for this post). A sober change from the usually more colourful Venns). It sets out the three elements of board effectiveness.

Kirsten Peterson

Kirsten Peterson

I’ll go into a bit more detail about the framework we have used (with expert assistance from our Governance Coordinator, Kirsten Peterson) once we have had the discussion. You’ll be able to find that filed under #IABCieb Notes & Queries in the next week or so.

Before that, I want to emphasise that whether you serve on a full-fledged board – or indeed as part of any group doing oversight- at the simplest level, it is about self-reflection. The group can’t perform if the individuals don’t.

The National Council of Nonprofits has this compiled this set of evergreen questions may also want to reflect on (I’ve picked out the most relevant):

  1. Do I understand and support the mission of the organization?
  2. Am I knowledgeable about the organization’s programs and services?
  3. Do I follow trends and important developments related to this organization?
  4. Do I read and understand the organization’s financial statements?
  5. Do I have a good working relationship with the chief executive?
  6. Do I recommend individuals for service to this board?
  7. Do I prepare for and participate in board meetings and committee meetings?
  8. Do I act as a good-will ambassador to the organization?
  9. Do I find serving on the board to be a satisfying and rewarding experience?

Should your answer be no to any of the above – then it is time to reach out to the person leading your group… because life is too short to not be aligned.

Let’s #createconnection like never before.

Michael Ambjorn

About the author

Michael Ambjorn administrator

Michael is a past chair of the International Association of Business Communicators. He is also founder of Align Your Org where – with a participation-centric approach – he and his colleagues enable effective strategic planning, communication – and clarity of execution. He has held leadership roles at IBM, Motorola and the 260–year–old Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. A consummate connector, speaker, facilitator - and mentor - he is also active in a number of further networks. You can follow him @michaelambjorn

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