Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How Would Your Board Invest One Extra Hour?

Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, you lost an hour last Sunday when your iPhone automatically stole 60 minutes for Daylight Savings Time. 

So for these last four blurry mornings, I’ve been wondering—what could I have done with that lost hour? Leverage it? Invest it? Squander it? 

So…here’s my governance question today:

If you had one extra hour
at your next board meeting,
how would you use it?

One size (one answer) doesn’t fit all. Taking cues from the four social styles, here’s how your board members might respond:

[  ] Analyticals might leverage the hour by slowing down and asking for more information—before rushing into any action items. “No decision is better than the wrong decision.”

[  ] Drivers, if they don’t already have the gavel, would ask for the floor and—in less than 60 minutes—would clean up any low-hanging action items. “Any decision is better than no decision.”

[  ] Amiables (and don’t we love the Amiables on our boards?) might suggest that this gift of an extra hour be used to enrich our relationships—get to know each other better! “Oh! So you approach decision-making this way because you were the youngest of five children—and you never saw your parents disagree? Interesting!”

[  ] Expressives (those are the two board members in the hallway on their cell phones) might ask about the annual awards program. Are current board members eligible for awards? How about a “Board Member of the Decade” dinner? And she’s available if you need an emcee.

Time lost is time lost. Heed Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB), “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

Coach John Wooden was a master at mentoring his teams during his 40-year coaching career.  From 1948 to 1975, his UCLA basketball teams won 10 NCAA national championships, including seven in a row! ESPN named him the greatest coach of the 20th Century.  Here’s Coach Wooden on time:

“Time lost is time lost.  It’s gone forever. Some people tell themselves that they will work twice as hard tomorrow to make up for what they did not do today. People should always do their best.  If they can work twice as hard tomorrow, then they should have also worked twice as hard today. That would have been their best. Catching up leaves no room for them to do their best tomorrow. People with the philosophy of putting off and then working twice as hard cheat themselves.” (Coach Wooden One-on-One: Inspiring Conversations on Purpose, Passion and the Pursuit of Success, by John Wooden and Jay Carty)

QUESTIONS: Time is a precious commodity and board meeting time, perhaps, is even more precious. How would your board redeem the time and use an extra hour at your next meeting? Should you add an extra hour?

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