In a perfect world, everyone on your board is a highly dedicated professional. They bring everything the association needs to the table, whenever it is asked of them. It is a diverse group of people that works well together and never backs out of commitments to the organization.
Unfortunately, this probably isn’t always the case, and that’s OK. Even the Avengers squabbled from time to time. While you can’t always expect heroic perfection from your team, it is vital you make sure you’ve got the best ensemble possible, and that you understand where the gaps are. If you don’t, you risk letting your members down and harming the viability of the association. That’s why it is so important to carefully choose who is on your team and why. Here are some factors to weigh, both as a whole, and with individual members.
Check their background
When you’re considering a board member, take a peek at their LinkedIn profile. What types of positions have they held? Depending on the nature of your board and association, different qualities might appeal. In general, titles that reflect roles of increasing responsibility over the years is a good sign.
Size up their skills
Board members should have a diverse array of backgrounds and skills. If everyone’s resume looks identical, your association won’t get the broad range of perspectives needed to drive the organization forward. Are you missing a financial wizard, a legal mind or maybe a smooth communicator?
Look for giving back
Does your board candidate have experience working on or volunteering for a range of organizations? Great—that’s a plus. Even if all of those groups aren’t directly relevant to your industry, leadership positions at different groups indicate they work well with others. It also indicates they are committed to contributing to their industry outside the walls of their office.
Ask experienced staff
Your association team shouldn’t bear the full weight of the board selection decision. However, your staff (especially the senior members) offer a unique perspective on who and what has worked in the past and where board recruitment might be fine-tuned. If you feel direct questions might be too…well, direct, use an assessment survey to gauge.
Groom them for greatness
Not everyone will be your perfect board member right off the bat. However, keep an eye out for committee members with promise. Professionals that appear eager, delivering on what is asked from them and even volunteering contributions before they’re approached, might make great future board members. Watch them and consider matching them up with a current board member to mentor them.
Your association deserves to have the best possible board team in place. Choosing and prepping the right people can be a daunting challenge. If you’re in need of guidance, check in with Frontline.