Improve Board Performance

When dealing with board members, it is important to determine if counterproductive behavior exists and then address it early on.

Whether they are missing too many meetings, showing up unprepared, or appearing to be outright antagonistic toward others, troublesome board members do pop up from time to time. According to a recent article in ASAE, it is important to be proactive in your approach to solving the problem.

By far the easiest approach is to set your board up for success before a problem arises. Establishing term limits, regularly scheduled peer reviews or performance reviews for the full board, and even outlining an impeachment process can help create a system where it is easy to naturally address any problems that might arise.

Ground rules and written expectations for members can also be a big help. However, when a member seems to be acting out of line, it is important to dig a little deeper to determine if he or she is a dissenter looking to make a positive contribution or someone who is just trying to cause trouble.

If you do find someone is truly acting as a bad seed in the group, it is important to address it so that the behavior does not spread within the group. If someone is simply raising legitimate concerns, remind them that respect toward others is vital to the group’s success. Address concerns by presenting facts with honestly and transparency. Avoid any personal attacks. Finally, if necessary, limit the role that the offender can play within the group.

The most involved, diligent, value-adding boards create a virtuous cycle in which the good qualities of one board member build upon another. They develop trust and mutual respect, and they challenge each other by asking intelligent questions in a spirited give-and-take environment.

An effective board is able to work efficiently to make decisions and solve problems. Creating systems to prevent and address any issues that may arise will help ensure future success with minimal effort.

You can find the original article here.