Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is Your Board Crisis-Ready?

Garrison Keillor, the dry and witty host of the Prairie Home Companion radio broadcast, has a regular program feature, “The Lives of the Cowboys.”

One Saturday evening, Dusty drawled about the hard life on the range: “If you can’t stand misery, you got no business being a cowboy.”

All of us who serve on boards or work with boards would likely add, “And if you can’t stand misery, you got no business being a board member.”

Maybe your fresh-faced, rookie board members approach their first year of board service with passion, zeal and high energy.  But the day will come when the board faces a big challenge, be it financial, moral, spiritual or relational. 

Peter Drucker wisely cautioned leaders, “Fortunately or unfortunately, the one predictable thing in any organization is the crisis. That always comes. That’s when you do depend on the leader.”

And in the remarkable devotional book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young paraphrases the words of Jesus: "Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life. Part of you is still hungering for the resolution of all difficulties. This is a false hope! As I told My disciples, in the world you will have trouble.”

 "When things seem all wrong, trust Me anyway. I am much less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way."

Board work is problem work! Recently I paged through the 80 governance questions answered in The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives (Second Edition). (Ted Engstrom and Bob Andringa co-authored the first edition.) In less than a minute, I checked 13 questions that addressed board problems. It comes with the territory.

So how do you equip your board to be crisis-ready? Governance—the God-honoring flavor—depends heavily on getting the right people onto the board bus. When you have spiritually discerning people around the table, you’ll be better prepared when complex and complicated problems raise their ugly heads.

Question: Luis Palau said, "Woe to the [person] who has to learn principles at a time of crisis!"  How prepared is your board for the next crisis?

No comments:

Post a Comment