Daily Buzz: How to Deal With Board Members Who Hold You Back

When board members fail to show up or don’t carry their share of the load, a few changes to the bylaws can help. Also: The key to event innovation is team collaboration.

There’s no such thing as a perfect board. But there’s a difference between an effective board and one that’s got too many folks sitting on the sidelines.

Many factors can contribute to an unproductive board, including what nonprofit consultant Joan Garry calls “dead-weight” members, or those who don’t cause trouble but don’t contribute anything either. Despite their best intentions when joining, they lay low while others get to work.

To deal with underperforming board members, Garry suggests amending the bylaws.

“When I was the CEO of Glaad, our bylaws stated that any board member who missed two meetings in a row would be automatically removed from the board and would have to be voted on at the next board meeting if he or she wanted to return,” she says on The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Another idea: annual evaluations. “I am clear that this idea fills board chairs and governance committees with dread,” Garry says. “Consider a nice and easy, informal process. In fact, don’t call it an evaluation. Just regard it as an annual opportunity to touch base about how board service is going.”

During these conversations, you can unearth red flags and learn how to better engage the board. In other words, “you will have a clearer sense of what successful board service looks like, especially to your more engaged members.”

Collaborate with an open mind

Meeting planning takes a village. When teams come together and collaborate, great conferences can happen. But to get from one simple idea to event innovation, planners have to stay open-minded.

Becky Dempsey, account manager at The Collaboration Company, told Event Planners Talk that teams should avoid phrases such as “We’ve tried that before” and “That won’t work because…,” which shoot down ideas from the get-go.

“It’s important to get multiple opinions and experience together to collaborate and develop the idea or event further,” she says. “We always say different perspectives are the point of collaboration, not the problem!”

Other Links of Note

Got a slow website? You might want to fix that. Google is experimenting with adding what The Verge calls a “badge of shame” to notify Chrome users when a site is slow to load.

If you think being a people-pleaser at work is a negative, think again, says one psychotherapist. Quartz at Work explains.

Planning meetings can be overwhelming. Meetings Today offers tips to de-stress.

(wildpixel/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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