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 […]

When your board comes to a fork in the road . . .

My work this week is with a theological school board in the midst of a presidential transition – board members standing at one of those Robert Frost moments. You know the drill. Two roads in front of them. One familiar and comfortable. The other, less traveled by peer institutions.

It’s seldom one or the other, but it could be

Either/or thinking drives me crazy, which helps explain my frequent dissents into madness (professionally speaking). Almost weekly, an exhausted executive director, overwhelmed development staffer, or out-of-breath board member gives me that “deer in the headlights” look when I suggest that the organization try walking and chewing gum simultaneously (metaphorically speaking). “Which should it be?” they […]

Wile E. Coyote and board recruitment strategies

I recently came across a fantastic apologetic for mixing it up when recruiting new board members — and it’s done without once using the “d” word. Robert Fabricant’s playful references to Wile E.Coyote in communicating serious points about creativity and the importance of diversity (that’s the “d” word of my reference) of perspectives, make for a fun read (to be expected from a firm […]