HOT TOPICS: Thoughts from the annual BoardSource conference

October 15, 2014

HOT TOPICS: Thoughts from the annual BoardSource conference
HOT TOPICS: Thoughts from the annual BoardSource conference
 
I had the opportunity last week to attend the BoardSource annual conference in Washington D.C. The focus of the event was board governance and there were many sessions looking at the issues facing CEOs and Board leaders. Here are a few highlights and additional thoughts on the subject:
 
1.      The Standards for Excellence Institute offered an interesting framework for reviewing your organizational processes and leadership. Although the focus is primarily internal processes, their website does include the option of conducting a free self-assessment if you create an account. From their statement of guiding principles, the Institute suggests:
 
“Effective leadership consists of a partnership between the board and management, each of which plays an essential role. Understanding and negotiating these shared and complex elements of leadership is essential to the organization’s success.”
 
2.      The Case Foundation’s CEO Jean Case spoke to the group about their funding policies and their leadership in encouraging nonprofit partners to lead aggressively and to take risks. She said that the primary discussion that boards should lead is “What should we be doing that we are not?” Our [the social impact community] greatest threats are around what we don’t do and the risks that we don’t take. She also talked about the need to understand each of our own organization’s unique value proposition.
 
Here is a great question to pose at your next board meeting: Are we playing defense or offense in the struggles against the big issues facing our community?
 
3.     October's CEO Conversation will focus on one of the obstacles to tackling the big questions: the relationship between the CEO and the Board. It’s not too late to join us! Other opportunities to explore the challenging facing CEOs in the next few months are:
a.      November’s CEO Conversation on November 19th 8 – 9:30 a.m.
c.       Have us come to you! We can bring a board refresher on roles and responsibilities to your next board meeting through one of our experts in board governance. Click here for more information.

 

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