Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Board Myths

Carter McNamara is a prolific writer and amazingly knowledgeable about many things including nonprofit organization and Board.  Take a moment and read about 10 Myths about Boards.
Posted: 31 Dec 2012 01:42 PM PST
There are numerous myths that seem to persist about Boards of Directors.  Here’s a list of 10 of them.

Myth –The phrase “corporate Boards” refers to for-profits Boards. It does conventionally, but nonprofit Boards are Boards of a corporation, too, so they’re both “corporate Boards.”

Myth — A Board of Directors can delegate its fiduciary accountability to another body, for example, to a subcommittee.  No, courts have held that the entire Board is always responsible for its fiduciary duties, not a subcommittee.

Myth — The Board Chair is the boss of the Board.  No, if a quorum of the Board members wants the Chair gone, then he/she is gone.

Myth — Working Boards are immature Boards.  No, many organizations prefer a more hands-on Board.  That’s fine, as long as they’re attending to their fiduciary roles, too.

Myth — To get more attendance by Board members, have less meetings and bring cookies.  No, it’s more effective to get engaged members if you demand that members attend.

Myth — All Boards should have term limits.   No, in small communities, you’d have to clone people if you have term limits on every Board.

Myth — The Strategic Planning Committee should do all of the planning, too.  No, the Committee should be in charge of ensuring a high-quality planning process, but all Board members should be involved in planning — or in approving the overall Plan.

Myth — Board members are officially Board members once their names are on the Board minutes or a roster.  No, courts discern a person to be a Board member if there’s proof that he/she has been acting like a Board member, e.g., attending meetings, taking part in votes, etc.

Myth — For-profits Boards and nonprofit Boards are very different.  No, most of the nature of their Board operations are the same, other than for-profits attending to director compensation, stocks and shareholders (and any rules and regulations for listed/public companies).  Nonprofits attend to volunteers and perhaps fundraising.

Myth — Strategic planning always follows the same process.  No, the process should be highly customized to the purpose of the planning, and to the nature of the client. 
Also see:  McNamara Blogs

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