Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Great Boards & the Elephants-in-the-Room

At your next board meeting, break into groups of two or three and start the clock on this five-minute exercise:

“In five minutes, make a list of the reasons why an annual board member self-assessment process might help us become better board members.”

I can think of about 20 reasons, but here are just five:

1) An annual board member self-assessment process communicates to the CEO that we’re serious about effectiveness, faithfulness and God-honoring fruitfulness.

2) When the board is open to frank feedback per Ephesians 4:15, “speak the truth in love,” it creates an environment for the CEO to do the same.

3) When the CEO is open to frank feedback, it creates an environment for the senior team (and their direct reports) to do the same.

4) As Max De Pree said, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” An annual board self-assessment (if done with God-honoring integrity) will help us discuss the elephants-in-the-room, clear the air, and define reality.

5) Sometimes, it will cause an under-performing or not-engaged board member to self-assess and then spiritually discern the next obvious step: “Maybe it’s time I should exit from the board."

QUESTIONS: Does your board conduct an annual self-assessment process? If not, should you add it to the agenda of your next board meeting? Will you also assess the spiritual condition of your board and your ministry? What devotional focus at your next board meeting might lay the groundwork for creating a self-assessment environment?

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