For Impact


No More Boards – A New Model

Team Development, Boards | | Tom Suddes

My coaching style is positive, pat on the back, supportive, you can do it… like John Wooden, Phil Jackson, Lou Holtz, Mike Brey, and Pete Carroll.

Although rare, there are times when I feel like going off on a Tom Peters-like rant in order to grab people’s attention, especially in this age of 3 million marketing messages a day, YouTube, Lady Gaga and Reality TV.

No More Boards is a quick shift from my normal style, but might challenge you even more to re-think this whole ‘BOARD THING’.

This is not ‘disrespecting’ Board Members. Individually, these members are, for the most part, national or community leaders committed to your cause.

It’s the idea of the Board as an entity, a collective ‘mob’, if you will, that I struggle with.

WHAT IF… there were literally no more ‘BOARDS’?



Here is one scenario…

  • ‘EXECUTIVE BOARD’ (GROUP). A five-member group (since it needs to be an odd number) responsible only for fiduciary matters and for meeting governmental regulations, etc. They would be smart. Have sector expertise in law, accounting and business. Not ‘yes men’, but collaborative men and women who
    understood their role and responsibility for the organization.
  • ‘MASTERMIND’ ALLIANCE. Right out of Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich. Again, this would be a group of really smart and talented individuals who would get together to explore the absolute best way to have the highest level of IMPACT. It would be kind of a 3rd Sector, mini-version of the YPO (Young President’s Organization) or EO (Entrepreneur Organization). Would include other respected 3rd Sector leaders, entrepreneurs and big-time community leaders.
  • ADVISORY COUNCIL or AMBASSADORS. This group would be made up of only CHAMPIONS and PASSIONATE ADVOCATES. The size would be limited only by the criteria! (Again, Champions or Passionate Advocates). No ‘meetings’. Selected ‘gatherings’ of like-kind ‘C.P.A.’s. (Not accountants! Champions and Passionate Advocates.)

In this 3-Part Model, the only ‘Board Meeting’ would be with the Executive Group to insure compliance and maybe some risk management. The Mastermind Alliance Group would get together at least monthly to do some serious brainstorming and benchmarking. (Think of this as your SUPPORT GROUP… a kind of ‘Kitchen Cabinet.’)

The Advisory Group of Ambassadors/Champions would get together quarterly to talk about the Vision, Mission and Purpose at 30,000’… and the CHALLENGES that needed to be met to reach these goals. Not sure when the whole idea of a ‘Board’ within the nonprofit world was even first created, but it’s time (NOW) to CHANGE!

Again, WHAT IF… you could start fresh??? How would you Re-Think and Re-Design and Re-Focus on Boards and on Leadership and on Champions?