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Daily Nuggets: A For Impact Blog

No More ‘Bored’ Meetings – Memorable Experience


 
A play on words and pun intended.

At my very first Notre Dame Board Meeting as the Director of Development, a very prominent international business leader leaned over to shake my hand… and he had a GUN on his belt! That’s when I learned that Board Meetings are serious stuff!

I served on a Board at one of the finest For Impact Organizations around. I was actually there at the founding of this organization and helped them raise $20 Million to get going. The CAUSE is unbelievable…………Kids – College. Its staff is committed and passionate. Its founder and key Board Members are truly exceptional!

And… its Board Meetings were boring, dull and totally forgettable. Who wants to drive 45 minutes to a ‘Bored Meeting’ to review the ‘financials’… listen to Committee ‘reports’… and dose off during the staff/department ‘activities’???

WHAT IF… you made every Board Meeting a MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE?

WHAT IF… these MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES had PARTICIPATION, FEEDBACK, and ACTUAL CONTACT with those you SERVE, or those who DELIVER or your PARTNERS???

WHAT IF… you always did something dramatic that TOLD A STORY… around your IMPACT??? (A Tour. Actual Participation. A Beneficiary. Whatever.)

WHAT IF… you never held your Board Meetings in a Board (BORED) Room…But somewhere that just generated HUGE excitement and energy??

MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE

The key to a great BOARD MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE (BME) or GATHERING is to get people engaged and involved in the session vs. listening to one person ramble on with no purpose.

These BME’s are also wonderful opportunities for CELEBRATIONS of accomplishments and success, rather than just talking about what we’re going to do in year four of our Strategic Plan (a totally worthless
document, by the way).

Again, I would urge you to use the ALTITUDE FRAMEWORK.
BHAG’s happen at 30,000’; incremental tweaks at 3’.

And, don’t be afraid to take time to THINK!
(See Board Responsibility #1!)

A ‘BME’ is not the place to INFORM! If you what to share information, get it out in advance of the meeting. (There’s some new thing called e-mail. Might be a fad, but worth looking into.)

Nor should these BME’s focus on FINANCIAL REPORTS! The fastest way to lose the attention and involvement of your Board is to review the entire financial statements, details, audits, etc. That’s why we have a Finance Committee and an Executive Committee!

At the BME, you should be talking the WHY behind the numbers… not the actual numbers themselves. (IMPACT vs. INCOME) Better yet, DO THE MATH with your Board!

Note: The staff is responsible for the FRAMEWORK and FLOW of the BME. This is not about going to your Board and asking them if this is what we should do. Somebody needs to go in and say, “This is what
we’re going to do. We need your help. Give us your thoughts, ideas and feedback.”

And no more meetings. Period.