nonp[rofit board management relations

Too Little Board Deference to CEOs – Typical of Nonprofits?

Too Little Board Deference to CEOs – Typical of Nonprofits?

By: Eugene Fram

“Most nonprofit staff leaders still struggle to have a bona fide seat at the board table as a respected peer,” says Brian Foss, nonprofit consultant. He hypothesizes that this lack of respect is not so apparent on for-profit boards. “I rarely see nonprofit CEOs receiving the same deference. …they would enjoy in the for-profit setting.” Foss also notes that the situation has not changed appreciably during the 25 years in which he has served as a consultant.*

Attitudes in a working relationship such as Board/CEO are often deeply ingrained in board culture. Yet I am convinced that with the right oversight and approach they can be improved. Developing a new and mutually respectful management atmosphere will in time yield superior outcomes for the organization. Here are some basic thoughts for both boards and CEOs that I hope will upgrade the quality of the partnership. (more…)