A board or a CEO that is too cautious may do as much harm as one that is reckless.
In their Harvard Business Review article Managing Risks: A New Framework, Robert S. Kaplan and Anette Mikes provide three qualitative distinctions among the types of risk organizations face. Two of these categories, preventable risks and strategy risks, are internal to the organization and so are within the control of the leadership. The third category includes risks from external sources; leadership may not control the risks, but they can prepare for them. Here’s how.
If a crisis puts the organization’s people, assets, or intended outcomes at risk, then major donors, clients, staff, or the community need to know. Here’s a simple outline of what to say.
Many nonprofit boards find that 6 to 9 directors can be more effective than a board of fifteen or more. As boards become smaller, the impact of each director grows. It’s not always easy to find new directors, and it takes time to onboard new people. All of this makes it crucial to get new nonprofit board members up to speed as quickly as possible. Here are seven resources every new board member should have on Day One.
Off-balance. Unable to cope. Distressed to the point of impairment. A crisis is not the aggravating problem that erupts on Tuesday and the staff resolves by Thursday. A crisis is big enough to up-end the organization, and you can’t always see it coming. It may have staff, donors, and even clients questioning their ability or willingness to continue. Your board can prepare to lead through the crisis that hasn’t happened yet. Develop an emergency response plan that adapts quickly to whatever may come.