Board Meeting January 2014 – Role of the Board (continued)

Board of Directors - Library of QueenslandOur January 2014 board meeting is Monday, January 13 at 1pm ET(NA).

To join in the conversation, watch for the video stream to appear at the end of this post. To ask questions, to share observations, to participate as part of our community – tweet to us using the hashtag #CTFuture. 

For the video describing the agenda for this meeting, click here.

What is the highest potential of having a board of directors? And what would it take to achieve that high potential result?

As the board of Creating the Future began discussing its bylaws back in November, it became clear that discussion of bylaws sections would be meaningless without first understanding the work of the board. We’ve all seen bylaws sections reviewed in a vacuum – the kinds of discussions that typically go like this:

    Governance Committee Member #1:
    How many board members should we have?
    Committee Member #2:
    I don't know. How many is the best number?
    Committee Member #3:
    Perhaps we should ask a consultant how many is the best number to have?

The question begging to be asked in these circumstances is “For what? To what end?”  It is therefore that end result that Creating the Future’s board has been focused on, as a precursor to the discussion of its bylaws.

In November, the board talked about the potential for bylaws to be the “operations manual” for the board – a living document that tells the story of how the board functions, making explicit what is often assumed.

For that, the board needs to know the roles and expectations of individual board members and the board as a whole. What is the board accountable for, and to whom?

Accountable for what:
In November, the board noted: “Our highest potential as a board is to be a group of individuals holding ourselves accountable for accomplishing the mission within the guidelines of our values, towards our vision for the world.” Board members talked about the job as being the keepers / stewards of the vision, mission and values.

Accountable to whom?
One of our guests in November, Allison Hewitt, talked about being accountable to “whoever shows up” – each other, people within the organization, people in the community, people who attend our classes and convenings, etc.

In other words:

  1. What will it take for the board to hold itself accountable for accomplishing the mission?
  2. What will it take for our board to hold itself accountable to those who show up?
  3. What will it take for the board to hold itself accountable for ensuring we are reflecting our values and vision in our work?

At our December meeting, the board considered Item #1 on that list. Their list of expectations is stunningly more human than the expectations boards are commonly taught to hold dear.

At our January meeting, the board will consider Item #2 (and if there’s time, Item #3). From there, bylaws can reflect the board’s intent, and can really tell the story of what this board – and the organization overall – is all about.

We look forward to your joining that discussion right here!

(Note: The video will not appear until the meeting begins. If it's 1pm or a few minutes after, and there is no video, please wait for it – we may just be starting a few minutes late).

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