A successful board chair transition requires careful consideration and transparency. Are you prepared? As you review potential candidates, consider the following guideline for candid conversations regarding the role. Does the candidate possess the capacity to uphold the following?

Capacity

  • Possess time and energy to devote to the school.
  • Understand hours and duties required for the role.

Efficient and Proactive

  • Publish board meeting schedule by Spring the previous year.
  • Collaborate with Executive Director to draft agendas focusing on strategic issues affecting the future of the school.
  • Collaborate on the development of an annual retreat to orchestrate or fine-tune the strategic plan and direction of the school.

Strategic

  • Direct the board past every-day challenges and strive to anchor the organization at a more strategic level.
  • Engage and inspire the board by exhibiting competency, decisiveness and trustworthiness.
  • Monitor both internal and external threats and opportunities to fully understand and articulate issues trending in the school environment.

 Ability to Prioritize

  • Focus and address timely issues that enhance the organization’s long-term impact.
  • Employ the use of consent agendas and task forces to research issues providing more time for board deliberation and decision-making.
  • Delegate tasks that do not require full board involvement to individual board members who have the skills and expertise to complete.

Collaborate and Lead

  • Recognize fellow board members and publicly thank them for their contribution to the school.
  • Establish a regular check-in with the Executive Director/School Leader to build a close professional relationship and to leverage mutual expertise.
  • Cultivate and represent the school connecting potential community supporters.

Listen and Connect

  • Model qualities of a good board member by creating space for open dialogue demonstrating the importance of consensus and collaboration of thought.
  • Encourage innovative and inclusive discussion including resolving conflicts and engaging individual board members regarding mutual challenges.
  • Delegate or serve as an opposing voice during deliberation to encourage openness to diverse perspectives resulting in thorough dialogue.

Encourage Diversity of Thought

  • Be mindful of the harmful practice of rubberstamping and “groupthink”.
  • Prioritize the cultivation and recruiting of board candidates ensuring gaps in talent pool are addressed.
  • Eliminate token representation as a method to meet diversity goals.

Lead and Seek Improvement

  • Monitor the completion of board training and orientation, ensuring board members are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Ensure that all members are actively contributing their specific skills and expertise.
  • Establish a board accountability system including an annual board self-assessment.
  • Support term limits to encourage development of a sustainable board pipeline.