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