Here are the eight items:
- Review the job description. The article provides a valuable sample job description and I’ll cover that next week as many of the boards I deal with haven’t thought about a Chair job description (or a director job description!). As Chair, you need to be knowledgeable about the organisation – its purpose, vision, values, programs and services, constituents and resources – and understand its place in the larger framework of the community and the still larger sphere of local and national peer organisations.
- Carve out time in your personal schedule. Be cognizant of how much time you can commit to the organisation while still maintaining balance.
- Consider creating a timetable to organise the time you devote to the position. What are the fixed commitments such as board and committee meetings? what is the ebb and flow over the year of the organisation? How much have you allowed for the unexpected? Creating such a timetable will help you visualise the time commitment.
- Meet with the Executive Director or Chief Executive. Discuss goals, relationships, expectations, strategic direction, challenges etc. financial health.
- Meet with the former board chair. Discuss time commitment, challenges, unfinished board business, work relationships etc.
- Reach out to every board member. Discuss why they joined the board, how their board service is going, what are they looking for in a chair, effectiveness of board meetings, thank them for their service.
- If necessary, strengthen your communication and meeting facilitation skills. Your ability to facilitate and communicate is critical – how good are your skills?
- Set goals. Set board development priorities and goals to optimise the board’s performance.