What are the most productive types of relationships between board & staff?

The relationships between the two groups can be productive informally and formally. It’s an important relationship because the staff must understand the board’s depth of commitment to the nonprofit’s mission, mission and values.

Informally, board members need to attend celebrations of organization successes in order to show appreciation what the staff has accomplished.   While the CEO must be the nexus of communications between the two groups, it should not be unusual for board members to meet informally with senior staff members.  Of, course the CEO must be apprised of these meeting an their outcomes.

More formally, for example, staff input is crucial for major decisions, and staff members need to interact with board groups in conducting major program reviews. The CEO needs to strive to create an atmosphere in which staff members feel free to express opinions in these reviews.

When confronted with a particularly difficult issue, an excellent means of communication is a board/staff workshop.  Such a workshop brings board and staff members together in a more relaxed setting.  The interaction between the two groups enhances the quality of decision-making.  There are also secondary benefits, as a workshop enhances professional communications between board and staff and engages board members in meaningful hand-on projects.

ATTENTION CANADIAN READERS:  I have international readers ever day, but I am pleased to report that Canadians consistently account for 10% or more of all readers.  I would appreciate your comments on the issues that draw Canadians to my blog.  Thanks.

Source:  “Policy vs. Paper Clips” Third Edition.  Available on Amazon.com

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