Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 Most Common Board Shortcomings

Only 10?  The December issue of Board Member® magazine from BoardSource (you do subscribe to it, right?) features a quick-reading one-pager on “The Top 10 Most Common Board Shortcomings.”

Pour a cup of coffee for three or more Christian organization CEOs, board chairs, senior pastors or church board members—and, without asking, you’ll certainly have your own list of the Top 50 board shortcomings.

Here’s the problem: we all bring our delightful dysfunctions into the board room—often based solely on our prior board experiences in other organizations and churches.  If the last board I served on did it “this way,” I may incorrectly assume that the next board will operate the same way. Not!

That’s why the cultivation and recruitment phase (dating before the wedding) is so critical when inviting new people to join the board.  After the “wedding” it’s too late to discern if your new recruit is a good fit.

Here’s the BoardSource list of shortcomings. The magazine article includes a short paragraph on the prescription for each shortcoming.
  1. Veering off mission
  2. Complacency
  3. Misguided motivations
  4. Multiple voices
  5. Micromanagement
  6. Limitless terms
  7. Lawless governance
  8. No self-assessment
  9. Lack of self-improvement
  10. Knotted purse strings
What additional governance shortcomings have you discerned in Christ-centered organizations and churches?

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