A lot has happened since my last post and I suspect we haven't seen the end to the forces that are impacting our organisations.
During times of crisis or uncertainty we can often feel that we are the only ones who are conflicted about what we should be doing. Being on a Non Profit board can exacerbate that feeling as we also grapple with personal challenges.
I would like to share with you some of the insights I have gained through working with boards of all capabilities, but particularly to those board leaders who will invariably called upon to hold the effort together.
Actions Chairs should be taking in these difficult times:
Tap into your network. You will probably find other chairs and directors facing the same challenges, and they may have some great ideas that you can replicate. This can also give you a sense of shared burden and solidarity.
Check in with your board and CEO regularly. You may find some of your directors are doing it tougher than others.
Revisit and discuss your purpose. What is the organisations real purpose and how do your discussions and decisions at this time link back to it.
If you can, meet more regularly for shorter periods on specific subjects or around particular decisions. Try to avoid long drawn out online meetings (max 1.5 to 2 hrs)
Plan your meetings, have strong agendas and stick to them.
Ensure your meetings and discussions are grounded in facts and based on official information, not hearsay. Ask directors and executives to confirm the veracity and origin of information.
Try to diffuse any personal conflicts on the board and rally directors around the tasks at hand. In times of stress old wounds can be easily uncovered.
Task your management team to be up to date, trust them and listen to their needs and ideas.
Keep your clients and staff at the center of all you do. Most people are saying “when we recover” but if you don’t do the right thing by your staff and clients there will be no one there to help with the recovery.
Be very specific with your directives to management. This is no time for confusing or ambiguous language. Check for understanding.
Complete, distribute and correct minutes with action logs quickly.
Most importantly be nice, practice patience and remember we are all here for the same reasons.
Please reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk about anything at all, with no obligations and in confidence.