Association Leadership - September/October 2015 - (Page 23)

BOARdS rED fLAGS at the board table by bob harris, cAe W hile addressing boards, I often discuss these 10 aspects of governance to be sure stay on track. rED fLAG: Mission Drift SOLUTION: The mission statement should frame all discussions. Suggest adding it to every agenda. rED fLAG: "But We're Non-Profit" Exempt SOLUTION: Exempt and Not for Profits are simply designations, NOT models for conducting business. Treat the organization as a corporate enterprise and use the business skills board members bring to the table. rED fLAG: Micromanaging the Budget SOLUTION: Know the big picture of finances. Don't fret over the $20 expense. Combine budget and assets to understand the financial picture. rED fLAG: Confidentiality SOLUTION: Documents and discussions are to be treated in confidence. Let the staff and chief elected officer craft the messaging before you speak to the board. Consider signing a confidentiality statement. rED fLAG: Apparent Authority SOLUTION: Do not assume that volunteer leaders all have authority to speak for the organization; there is liability for appearing to represent the association. The chief elected officer is the primary spokesperson and he or she can delegate. rED fLAG: Conflicts of Interest SOLUTION: We all have them and they may not be bad; be open to disclosing conflicts by using a disclosure form. rED fLAG: Self-Evaluation SOLUTION: Am I fully prepared? Am I doing my best? Assess your own board performance in a confidential discussion amongst directors. rED fLAG: Performance Measures SOLUTION: How will we recognize success if we don't set benchmarks? Every organization should rely on metrics. Report on performance with dashboards or scoreboards. rED fLAG: Wandering Without a Roadmap SOLUTION: Be sure insurance and audits mechanisms are in place. Know the size and coverage of D & O. years. However, if it's longer than four pages, it might not be read. rED fLAG: Protect the Assets SOLUTION: Tfour pages, it might not be read. ● Bob harris, CAE, provides tips and templates for board governance at You can reach him at or (850) 570-6000. Read the digital version at 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Association Leadership - September/October 2015

Message From the Magazine Chairman
60-Second Solutions
Quick Takes
From the Public and Private Sectors to Association Management: Meet the New Tsae Chairman, Bill Keese, Cae
TSAE’s Newest Board Members
Is Your Website Safe?
Advancing Association Meeting Through Place-Based Education
Red Flags at the Board Table
Don’t: Tips for Reviewing Your Association’s Products and Services.
Destination Planner
New Members
Index to Advertisers
Work Smarter

Association Leadership - September/October 2015