Friday, May 17, 2013

S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Boards

I’m sure this isn’t a problem for your board—but please keep reading.

It’s possible that when a CEO’s work is more activity-driven than results-driven, it’s because the board also tilts towards activities—even very good activities. (Jim Collins said, “Good is the enemy of great.”)

But when a board sets goals for itself—and achieves those goals—it broadcasts to the CEO, the senior team, and the entire organization that “great” results are important.  And of course, Great Commission results are even more important.

I like to use the “S.M.A.R.T.” goals acronym.  Goals must be:

So what goals should a board set for itself? After consulting with a board several years ago, I recently received an encouraging update from the ministry’s CEO. He wrote:

“Our board has continued to implement your recommendations.  Here is some of what has been accomplished:
   • Gone from 20 board members to 13.
   • Gone from 10 committees to three committees.
   • Gone from no evaluation or accountability of board members to annual assessment and interview as term of service is coming to a close.
   • Gone from no role description or qualifications for board members to having both documents.
   • Gone from one-third of the board members not donating annually to 100 percent of board members being donors of record each year.”

Wow! Imagine now the influence the board has with the CEO, senior team, staff and volunteers. Goals were set. Goals were achieved. 

Why are goals so important? In Donald Rumself's new book, Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life, he writes, "If you don't know what your top three priorities are, you don't have priorities."

And by the way, which board (the old board or the rejuvenated board) has the greatest potential to see God’s work flourish?

I say five cheers for this board—and three cheers for S.M.A.R.T. goals for all boards!

QUESTION: What are the Top-3 Goals for your board this year?

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