Non-Profit Leadership

Imagine Improving Your Performance as a Board of Directors of a Non-Profit Organization.

Is this an all too familiar scenario?

  • The nominating committee of a non-profit organization carefully selects candidates for the Board of Directors (BOD) with just the right skills and potential to assist the organization with its direction, influence, impact and resources.
  • You accept their nomination to this Board because you believe in its mission and want to make an important contribution.
  •  Now, you are on the Board and you are frustrated. You recognize the great potential of the individual members and the Board as a whole. Yet, you also realize that there is a gap between this potential and the results you all are achieving.
  • You, other Board members, and Senior Staff want to close this gap between your potential and your results.

If this scenario is familiar to you, we invite you to explore what you can do to close the gap between potential and results. This learning program is for you if you feel it is time for renewal, re-energizing, and for harvesting ideas for the way your Board can work even better. Join us to gain tips on closing the gap between potential and results.

You will explore answers to:

  • How to keep Board members fully engaged so that the organization receives the full value that each member has to contribute rather than just having Board members just attend meetings.
  • How to receive fuller benefit from the strengths of individual Board members so that the organization is strengthened by these assets too.
  • What the right decision making process is for your Board so that time and energy is used most effectively.
  • How to make the best use of Board meeting time so that members stay engaged, offer their strengths and are able to contribute their best thinking to decisions.
  • Whether a Policy Governance model is right for your Board as a way of closing the gap between potential and results.

The series includes four modules (3-hours each in duration).

Module 1: Decision Making

This module will assist you in improving your decision making as a Board. You will gain tools and techniques that will improve your skills in:

  • Identifying the problem you need to solve. With the right problem focus, your problem solving discussions will lead to the best solutions. You will learn a simple- to- use tool to get to the actual problem that needs to be solved so you won’t waste time solving the something else.
  • Identifying the right problem solving tool and technique for your situation. Every problem may not be best solved through the same problem-solving approach. A key is to keep your Board in problem- solving mode without hurrying into decision making. This broadens your scope of potential solutions thus giving you a better chance to identify what is just right. Taking this module will add to your repertoire of tools and techniques for effective problem solving.
  • Identifying who needs to be involved to solve the problem. Although the decision makers may be present, the” right people” to solve the problem may not be around the Board table. This module will better enable you to identify who the “right people” that need to be involved in generating potential solutions are so that the decision makers have the best options to choose from.
  • Choosing the right decision making process. It is common for a BOD to get locked into a particular decision making process even though the status quo decision making process may be getting in the way of the best results. With more options for decision making processes, you increase your capacity for choosing the right one to get the job done well thereby making more efficient use of Board time.
  • Creating a decision making matrix. A question often asked is, “does an individual Board member have authority to make decisions and if so, what is the authority?” You may already have a decision making matrix that makes it clear what authority the senior staff have, what authority committees have, and what authority the BOD wishes to retain for itself. If so, you will have the opportunity to explore your decision making matrix and understand whether it helps or gets in the way of results. If not, then you will gain insights into how you may create on that fits your organization’s needs.

Module 2: Board Governance/Risk Management

Policy governance is a model that clarifies what the Board is responsible for managing and what authority is given to the staff of an organization.  This clarity is beneficial not only for the Board but also for staff as well as the public.  This module will enable you to better govern your organization including your risk management through Board policies by:

  • Exploring Board member accountability to the public. Many Boards discover far too late that they have left themselves open to being held accountable for matters that they have never even considered. We guide you in understanding how to be comfortably accountable to the public, knowing you have taken appropriate BOD responsibility for risk management.
  • Exploring the Board-Staff relationship. We guide you through a Board-Staff relationship via a Policy Governance approach. This approach creates a ‘contract’ between the Board and Senior Staff, streamlining the collaborative effort to move the organization to improved results.
  • Exploring Board-Staff reporting. We have an unique approach to Board-Staff reporting created to reduce risk to the Board who are held accountable for the performance of the organization. This approach to Board-Staff reporting is also reduces risk to senior staff.
  • Overcoming the disconnect between Board Policy becoming operational reality. Too often, a Board is not aware of the degree to which their policies actually become operational reality. There can be what we refer to as ‘arthritic joints’ in the organization that block the shifts needed to operationalize Board Policy. You will gain some simple techniques to improve the relationship of Board Policy with operational reality.

Module 3: Improving the Board Meeting

Board meetings require very few legal ‘have to’s’. Beyond the legalities, a great Board meeting is one in which important topics generate productive discussions  and one in which all Board members think and feel that their input is valued. In this module, we focus on ways to improve the Board meeting so that there is greater productive impact for the work of the organization.

  • Summarizing legal ‘have to’s’. There are very few legal ‘have to’s’ to take up time in a Board meeting. Learn what are they and how they can best be handled?
  • Creating effective and efficient Board meeting agendas—considering options. What does a well crafted meeting agenda include? Moving the ‘new business’ item that too often ends up at the end of the Board meeting when everyone is tired to the beginning of the meeting is just one tip we will share among others in this module.
  • Tapping into the collective wisdom of the Board. To tap into the collective wisdom of the Board, the Chairperson needs to facilitate 1) the opportunity for engaging conversations and 2) a means of harvesting the gems from those conversations. We share how these valuable conversations can be generated at the Board meeting, rather than in the parking lot afterward…where they too often take place.
  • Creating improved organizational performance using meetings as a catalyst. When a Board generates a policy with the intention of it being acted on, the Board is signaling a requirement for something to change. A  Your board will benefit from knowing tips and techniques for using your meetings as a catalyst for organizational change..
  • Exploring Board-Committee relationship. It is important to understand what the right structure, processes, authority level and accountability are for a Board-Committee relationship to get the job done. In this module you will gain insights into how to create the most effective committees to support the effectiveness of the Board and organization.

Module 4: Conflict Prevention/Conflict Resolution

While conflict is usually not comfortable for most, a Board that is working at its potential understands that it must deal with and resolve conflict in a manner that enables its members to continue to work effectively.  Failure to do so can lead to constant battling, passive resistance or even disengagement by members who are not feeling heard or valued.  In this module we will explore:

  • Addressing the ‘elephant in the room’. If the unspoken psychological contract of a BOD is to ensure being nice to each other and not to rock the boat, then there is likely an perceived inability to name and talk about something that is problematic. You will gain some insights about  how to make the shift to addressing ‘the elephant in the room’.
  • Identifying important conversations that shouldn’t be missed. Learn some techniques to identify conversations that are important to have.
  • Addressing conflict. You will learn some techniques for conflict prevention so that unnecessary conflicts don’t need to get in the way of your work, reducing the high cost of conflict. You will also learn some techniques for addressing conflict.
  • Holding Board members accountable. Board members also need to be held accountable for their individual and collective performance. Learn how to build this accountability into your BOD culture.
  • Effectively using Board minutes, Board manual, Procedures manual (operations manual) and Board member manual to enhance Policy Governance. It may seem these topics are too easy to be of significant value to include in this module. Be prepared to be surprised at how some simple adjustments can make a big difference.

What to Expect

Lively discussions and learning will take place in a workshop style that is inclusive and empowering. Tools, techniques and processes will be covered that you can take back with you and present for consideration by the BOD to improve the Board experience. We recognize that you already have processes, tools and techniques that have worked for you in the past. Our focus is to assist you in build from where you are so that you are getting even greater benefit from the potential that you have.

Your Facilitators

Birgitt Williams, Workshop FacilitatorBirgitt Williams is an international management and organizational solutions consultant, author, meeting facilitator, teacher, keynote speaker and executive coach. Her business focus is to assist leaders in closing the gap between their own potential and results, and closing the gap between the potential and results in their organizations. She is an advocate of creating and nurturing a culture of leadership in which every individual and every team works from their authority to carry out the responsibilities that they are accountable for. Birgitt has mastery in possibility thinking and in working with the full potential of both tangible and intangible assets in organizations of all kinds including private sector, public and government sector, communities, consortiums, and strategic collaborations. She is skillful at system change, team cohesion, strategy focus, multi-disciplinary teams and cross cultural work.

With 40 years of experience in the non-profit sector in North America and internationally, Birgitt loves to share tips, techniques, and knowledge based on what she has found to be most consistent in making a difference in the lived experience of Board members, performance and results. Birgitt has been in the role of Board Chairperson, Committee Chairperson, Board member, as a consultant and executive coach, and for a decade of her career, as a CEO of a Non-Profit social and health service. She thus understands what it takes for the Senior Staff to support the BOD, to operationalize policies as well as what it takes to carry out the work of the BOD.

Birgitt is a creator of the  Genuine Contact program, Co-owner of the Genuine Contact Group, LLC., President of Dalar International Consultancy, Inc., and author of The Genuine Contact Way: Nourishing a Culture of Leadership.

Rachel Bolton, Workshop FacilitatorRachel Bolton is a senior consultant and coach with Dalar International Consultancy, Inc. She specializes in and loves work with Small Businesses, Solo Entrepreneurship, and  Start-Ups. She has worked with leaders, consultants, and their organizations around the world to develop their organizations using our Genuine Contact Way processes and brings this wealth of experience into our workshop.  Her unique blend of coaching and Genuine Contact training bring high-level insight and practical suggestions to this work.

With experience both serving on a variety of Boards including local and international organizations as well as consulting to support their development, Rachel Bolton brings a wealth of lived experience in working with the principles we teach in this workshop series.

Rachel is the current Director of the Genuine Contact Organization and Program, supporting leaders, consultants and coaches around the world who work with the Genuine Contact program in their organizations.

Supporting Learning in Teams and Groups

At Dalar, we are big believers in whole teams and groups learning together. To support group learning, we are pleased to offer the following team discounts:

  • 20% off for 3-5 participants
  • 40% off for 6-10
  • groups of 11+ to be determined based on groups size

Project, intact, cross-functional, and leadership teams, small organizations, boards, and volunteer groups are some examples of the kinds of groups eligible for these discounts. Contact Rachel Bolton for registration details.

This offer is applicable to Early Bird and Regular Rates of registration. It cannot be combined with any other discounts available (i.e Genuine Contact Organization member discounts).

This is a Genuine Contact Way Workshop

Birgitt Williams, Ward Williams and Rachel Bolton of the Dalar team have created these Genuine Contact Way learning modules with a focus on creating and nourishing a culture of leadership in organizations. We believe that when a culture of leadership exists in an organization, productivity increases, employees work both more effectively and with greater satisfaction on their own and in teams, and the organization thrives. Every Genuine Contact Way module provides participants with a complete skill and knowledge set that is beneficial used on its own. Every module is also designed to be part of a multi-purpose blended approach for leadership and organizational development. You may find added benefit to take this module in conjunction with other Genuine Contact Way modules as well as modules of the Genuine Contact ProgramContact us to find out what the right ‘bundle’ is to meet your unique leadership and organizational development and business goals.

Terms and Conditions of Registration