Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Failure to Communicate? Failure to Steward? The Board/CEO Relationship

Over the past year, the stress level on many local nonprofits has continued to increase as funds from most sources shrink, demands for services increase, and many board leaders and volunteers are distracted by demands in their personal lives.

Anecdotally, we are perceiving an increase in board-initiated CEO/Executive Director departures. Nationally, it has long been held that about 1/3 of chief executive departures are board-initiated. In an environment with high unemployment and unstable financial markets, we are seeing fewer retirements and less natural movement between positions so it may just feel like the balance has shifted. One of my long-held concerns is that a significant number of nonprofit boards do not evaluate their CEO/ED on a regular basis – this lack of discipline in defining and discussing organizational and personal performance sets the stage for knee jerk reactions to bad news and organizational “politics”.

In the weeks ahead, we will be distributing a short survey targeted to Board leaders and chief executives to ask for your candid, and anonymous, input on this topic. In preparation, we encourage you to review the findings of the latest Daring to Lead 2011 study conducted by CompassPoint in CA at http://daringtolead.org/. We did have some local organizations included in their sample this year.

If we can include your board chair in this survey, please forward their e-mail address to Nora@CharitableAdvisors.com. We will not add board addresses to any other mailing list and will only use them to distribute the survey and the results. I would love to hear your ideas and feedback as we prepare this survey – either on our blog at http://charitableadvisors.blogspot.com or to my e-mail at Bryan@CharitableAdvisors.com.

And thanks to all of you who participated yesterday in the 9th annual Get on Board event.

Bryan Orander, President
Charitable Advisors and Not-for-Profit News


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