Breaking ranks with consensus thinking about consensus

Many a boardroom discussion is prolonged in hope of achieving unanimity on an important decision. And nonprofit CEOs and board chairs are often chosen and evaluated on their skill as consensus builders. In fact, if there’s a Holy Grail of the nonprofit sector, it’s full consensus. But not so fast, cautions an article in the […]

It matters who’s on the mountain with you (part 2)

A few posts back I suggested that for fundraisers, who it is that’s on the mountain with you makes a world of difference. The annual climb to the top of giving pyramid is a grueling, lonely, and sometimes perilous trek. What a blessing to find a hiking companion willing to go the distance with you. […]

My mother-in-law’s Christmas cactus, Policy Governance, and a meaty metaphor

Next to a pithy phrase, a meaty metaphor is my favorite rhetorical device. It’s possible to say a lot with a few words. Case in point: my mother-in-law’s Christmas cactus as a stand-in for Policy Governance. “Say what?” you ask. “Stick with me,” I answer. Following the death of my mother-in-law, I accepted responsibility for […]

7 mid-summer projects for more productive board work in the fall

On Monday of this week, I highlighted a list of spruce-up projects guaranteed to enhance your fundraising results come fall. But it’s not just development staff who can make hay while the sun shines. Board chairs and other governance leaders can do so as well. The dog days of summer are a great time to […]

Nana goes to MOPS Convention

As this post comes online, I am standing in front of more than 2,000 mothers of preschoolers and other assorted guests who’ve gathered in Nashville, TN, for the 2011 MOPS Convention. As chair of the MOPS board, it’s my privilege to welcome the crowd to this year’s extravaganza and to open Convention with prayer. Along […]

It takes a team to win the board game (part 2)

In my last post, I added a governance spin to two of four strategies from consultants Jack and Suzy Welch’s advice about “How to Build a Winning Team.”  Now I’m back with commentary on the remaining two points. (The Welch’s words are in italic and mine are in regular face.) Third, winning teams are honest. […]

It takes a team to win the board game (part 1)

Newsweek isn’t where I expect to find advice on developing strong boards. However, a recent issue of the magazine provided just that with an article titled “How to Build a Winning Team.”  It’s immediately obvious (at least to me) that the four-step approach suggested by consultants Jack and Suzy Welch is as useful in the […]