Developing a Governance Board
How Will You Motivate Them?
There are many reasons why individuals might choose to make a difference by supporting your organization and helping to guide it. Some of these might be:
- To contribute to a good cause
- To be involved in a dynamic grassroots organization
- To associate with other exciting and inspiring individuals
- To assist a related cause, for example, your condition might cause heart disease and someone might wish to impact heart disease in a very focused way
- A personal connection: an individual is a friend or relative of a person affected by the condition
Once you understand what motivates people to serve, you can recruit individuals you think will create the right culture for your board.
Key Board Principles
Genetic Alliance recognizes the importance of board development for its member groups. To help these organizations reach optimal board functioning, Genetic Alliance has developed its Organization Incubator program, based on Jim Collins' book, Good to Great. This program helps participating boards adopt key organizational and operational principles, including
- Level 5 Leadership - Recognizing, supporting, and recruiting for leadership of the highest caliber.
- First Who¦Then What - Getting the right leaders involved before deciding what to do.
- Confront the Brutal Facts with Unwavering Faith - Adopting a climate of truth-telling and open communication.
- Defining - Specializing in a limited number of areas.
- Culture of Discipline Combined with an Ethic of Entrepreneurship - Combining responsibility with freedom.
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop - Building momentum up to and beyond a breakthrough point.
- Self-identification - Understanding how what is said may be true about one's self.
- Deeper understanding - Getting to the deeper essence of an issue.
- Authentic interactions - Being real and true even when it is uncomfortable.
- Self-evaluation - Assessing whether one is achieving his or her potential.
- Everyone monitors quietness from members - Maintaining engagement from all board members.
- Everyone monitors over activity from members - Having group responsibility for balanced discussion.
- Members can't disappear - Ensuring that issues are addressed once presented.
- Dialogue and debate - Teaching board members to avoid case-building or coercion.
- A climate where truth is heard - Developing transparency on the board.
- Review/reflect on successes - Acknowledging accomplishments when they occur.