Rare as the need may be, here are three reasons to extend the terms of board members.
Directors hate them. Fundraisers swear by them. And board members often get called on to make them. Done badly, they kill the natural excitement that fills a theatre immediately before live performance. Done well, they help the audience connect beyond the immediate performance. The curtain speech is very much like the “elevator speech” exercise in business: you have 90 seconds to engage your listener and entice them to become involved in your project. What will you say?
New board members bring three gifts that expire by the end of their first year on the board: fresh eyes, fresh air, and fresh horses.
The agenda is a powerful tool for helping the board attend to what matters. The chair uses the agenda to help the board accomplish its work, make the best use of time, and filter out extraneous topics. Having the agenda at least a week in advance allows directors to plan local travel, read relevant documents, and begin thinking about issues to be discussed. The agenda provides staff with direction on what facilties and equipment to provide, what data might be needed, and what questions may be asked. Here are five parts of a meeting agenda for nonprofit boards that help make these things possible:
A board or a CEO that is too cautious may do as much harm as one that is reckless.