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Do You & Your Board Play Well Together?

By August 21, 2013March 11th, 2015Engaging Your Board, Storytelling

You have a board of directors. They show up to meetings, most of the time. Many do more than simply showing up. Right?

But do they frequently and passionately talk about YOUR work with their friends, families, colleagues, book group, the soccer moms, and others?

When I’m asked to work with development staff and the board of directors I conduct a few pre-training interviews. I find I’m often treated like a “safe harbor” to share the “truth” about how the board and staff get along.

Board members tell me how they wish they could feel more useful. Or how they wish the staff would help them to know more about the programs or clients.

Staff tell me how their board members “don’t do much” or “don’t do what we need or want them to do.”

With the knowledge that there is work to do to cause the board and staff to get along better I work with them to create a culture of accountability AND engagement.

One of the most fun and easiest ways to build a culture of engaged board members is to load them up with emotionally engaging experiences and stories that they are excited to share with others. Allow them close and personal interactions with the people you serve in a relaxed setting. Share examples of ordinary day to day moments that cause you and the board to feel something about your mission. (Pride, irritation at that law, happiness for that family.)

Recently my topic of Storytelling and Board Members was highlighted in Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals.

I got to share how one of the best things you can do at your board meetings is infuse your mission at the beginning of each meeting. Take a quick watch of the video to get the full scoop.

Watch the video here
When you start practicing these tips, you’ll find that you’re creating great storytellers on the board and you’re creating an engaged, mission-focused board meeting. Most importantly you will create a mini army of people who will share engaging examples of your work.

Let me know how it goes once you get started. I love to hear stories, especially stories of the board and staff “playing well together!”


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