Tapping a treasure trove of governance wisdom

Earlier this fall, more than 600 governance leaders from across the continent descended on Atlanta for a two-day confab on the newest thinking and practices in nonprofit governance.  The folks at BoardSource describe their annual Leadership Forum as the “only national conference focused on the impact of nonprofit boards and the unique role they play in advancing the public good.”

I would have loved to take part in the assembly in Atlanta, but it didn’t fit my schedule (or my budget). So now I’m tapping into the next best thing, the Leadership Forum website.

BoardSource is working hard to ensure that no board – or board junky – is left behind. I encourage you to click on over to the Leadership Forum 2011 Wrap-Up where you’ll find a wealth of great resources for encouraging enhanced board performance.


If you have time for nothing else, take ten minutes to view the video below. This beautifully produced piece could be just the discussion starter you’ve sought for your next board meeting. (Did I mention that it’s free for the download?)

Or check out the following questions about board governance to which BoardSource invited four big names in the business to give a response.

  1. What’s the most important thing a nonprofit board can do to ensure that its governing toward the future?
  2. What governance words or phrases are most overused?
  3. Aside from integration of technology, has there been a shift in how boards govern over the last 10-20 years?
  4. What quality do you most admire in a nonprofit board member?

For fun, jot down your thoughts on each query before reading what the experts had to say. I’m betting you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your own board smarts.

If I’ve over-estimated your governance IQ, no problem. You’ve now identified ideas for board education. And you’ve located a treasure trove of governance wisdom to help you on the way. So start tapping.

Of the questions listed here, which is most critical to your board at this time? What other question(s) about board governance is kicking around in your mind?

What's your take on this topic?

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