Recruiting Board Members for our Integrity Board: Part 1

Creating the Future is preparing to recruit new board members!

This is an exciting step for us, as we have invested so much time in defining the board’s role in supporting the organization’s mission. Having the bulk of that work behind us, and having spent several months finding our way in this new way of being, we are ready to design a recruitment process that can live on as the organization grows and changes.

To do so, we employed Catalytic Thinking. Our conversation began at our February board meeting (you can watch or listen to that conversation at this link.) The following is a summary of that conversation to date, as well as our next steps.

Who will be affected by Creating the Future’s board recruitment efforts?

  • Current board members
  • Potential board members
  • Staff current and future, paid and unpaid (volunteers)
  • People participating in board meetings
  • People watching board meetings
  • People engaged in programs, classes or org’s work (journal shared with others; ripples of impact)
  • Governance / board-curious people
      • Board members of other organizations
      • Corporate board members
  • Creating the future-curious
  • Funding entities
  • Partners, current and potential
  • General public
  • Community at large
  • Anyone who looks at 990
  • Students
  • Creating the Future

What does being on the board make possible for someone joining the board? What is the benefit of being on our board?

• Learning and practicing catalytic thinking
• Reflective space for exploring
• Space for asking questions, challenging or testing assumptions about how we do things, and consider new ways to do things or see things in a new way; re-evaluate the way things are done
• Welcoming space; open; everyone invited to participate
• Each voice is important and of consequence; all contributions sincerely valued
• Authentic engagement
• Get to meet interesting people
• Aiming at something positive and powerful as an outcome
• Learning, connecting with new ideas and new people (open meetings lead to new people)
• “I have the power to ask questions, and the asking matters.”
• Meetings archived, can keep learning from convo
• Listen to each other, honor each other, build off of others in conversation; support each other, respectful, caring
• Learn about each other as friends; can be as revealing as one wants (awesomes, reflection)
• Serving important, meaningful mission; board conversations themselves are part of creating systems change
• Not go down rabbit hole of how bad it is, seeking points of agreement, energizing (better angels)
• Important to what board members are doing in other work/life—confluence of interests; similarities with PhD seminars.
• Assistance with implementing / practicing Catalytic Thinking in their own lives
• Values first; values constantly revisited/live; about process
• “What if” space
• Group of people focused on systems change and process of systems change
• Space to think out loud, to “play” together with ideas

What kinds of experiences do we want people to have on the board, and in the recruitment process itself?
• Feel comfortable being themselves
• Feel individual sense of integrity
• Feel prepared coming in (prepared to be public, familiar with Catalytic Thinking)
• Feel input is valuable
• We are not a “typical” board
• Be comfortable (critical) thinking out loud

Idea: Perhaps talk with former board members to see what they might add / change on this list?

Next month…
1) What will our recruitment efforts make possible for Creating the Future? Having focused on what will be possible for folks considering joining the board, we will focus on what we hope our efforts will make possible for the organization as a whole, and for the  board itself.
2) Conditions for success: What will it take to for prospective board members to be excited about all those outcomes? What do prospective board members need to know, feel, be assured of? What would a system need to have / provide to ensure these are the results?

As part of those conditions for success – in answer to “What will prospective board members need to know?” – we will want to focus on how we explain to prospective board members what the board is about and what we do as a board. What is the board’s role in practice? What do we DO as part of an Integrity Body?

If you would like to be part of this conversation, we will be picking up with these questions when we gather for our March meeting. Please let us know if you’d like to be part of that meeting, and which of the 3 ways to participate you will be choosing (see this link for the 3 ways you can participate).


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