23 July 2008

Board Member Recruitment

Welcome back!
What characteristics should we look for in prospective board members once we have articulated the job outputs of the board of directors? Do not confuse management skills as substitutes for any of these characteristics.
  • Ability & discipline to think
  • Recruited for demonstrated commitment to the values and mission of the organization
  • Connections to the “moral ownership” and resources
  • Creative Thinker, Open Minded, Team Player
  • Time and energy to meet
  • Strong Ethics, Possess Integrity
  • What other characteristics would you add?
The work of the board is thinking work more than doing. People who have the interest and discipline to work in the abstract might be good board members. The big job of a board of directors is to ensure the organization does what it should while avoiding unacceptable situations and circumstances. Job outputs include: (1) explicit board policy to articulate the values of the organization, (2) monitoring, and (3) linkage to the moral ownership.

Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.


Glen said...

Some good responses via the LinkedIn question and answer feature:

From Phil in South Carolina:

* People who can think about principles and values.
* People who can enjoy creating the future rather than merely eva=
luating the past.
* People with moral courage.
* People who are willing to let others be strong.
* intelligent and willing to learn.
* People with an ability to empathize with the owners.

Glen said...

JB in Indianapolis writes:

Jb Miller wrote:
While I think a creative thinker is important, I also believe it's important for board members to be able to think independently and question the status quo. Whether the status quo is represented by staff or other board members.

I've been on enough boards to know that many board members don't ask tough questions and are willing to let the past guide the future. While history is important, it's also the board's responsibility to set the future of the organization and understand what the organization must have for today to be successful.

Ultimately the board must ask the question, what is the reason for this organization to exist, and is it still valid today.

Glen said...

Dan in Pomona writes:

I am on vacation (sort of) but, always thinking about spreading our wealth and experience. I would add under characteristics "Alligator hide" and a no "BS" sort of guy/gal or in more appropriate words "intentional and focused, result oriented." I am always repeating this to ED's and management.