Many boards decide to hold retreats, focus groups, or other professional development events to help them define the roles and responsibilities of their boards and directors and evaluate their performance. These events can also serve as a platform for further governance development such as creating a mission statement, drafting job descriptions and designing a strategic plan.
In June 2009, CLO held such a board development focus group. The questions put forth to the board members can be a template for a similar activity you may want to organize for your board.
- What do you see as your board's job?
- What do you see as not being a role of your board?
- Name three key board responsibilities.
- What does your board do well? Not so well?
- How do you provide board orientation, training and ongoing support?
- What are your strategies for board recruitment and succession planning?
- How does board evaluation happen in your agency?
- What tools and resources have helped your board be more effective?
- What are your tips for effective board meetings?
Discuss the items in categories b and c until you reach an agreement among the board and between the board and ED (Executive Director).