Posts Tagged ‘governance’

Governance and Communications Webinar

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

On Leap Day, February 29, 2016, Olive Grove and FCP co-presented a dynamic 30-minute free webinar focusing on best communications practices for a productive relationship between an executive team and its board of directors. In case you missed it, here is the link to watch the webinar.

You can also read the 4 blogs below, and follow the hashtag #GovernanceComms on Twitter and Facebook!
 Three-Steps-to-Improve-Nonprofit-Board-Performance how-board-members-can-influence-and-grow-their-nonprofit-executive The-Three-Essential-Roles-of-Board-Members

A huge thank you to the team at Olive Grove and to everyone who participated in the webinar!

Cracking the Code on Board and Executive Communications

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Nonprofit boards and their chief executives are often misaligned. Failure to collaborate effectively is almost assured when communication breaks down and usually results in an exasperated and exhausted executive along with disinterested board members.

So given that communications is essential to good governance, let’s “decode” some of the most common terms in governance and explore what they could mean for executives and their boards. I’ve organized this around key words that are used in board/executive discussions and how I believe they are “heard” by each party. As such, I’ll present the word, then what the executive is likely to hear or think, what the board member/board chair is likely to hear or think, and finally the opportunity opened up by the conversation.

1) The Word: Deficit
Executive: “LAYOFFS! OMG – this is totally not my fault. What do I do now?”

Board member: “My leader has been asleep at the wheel – a failure. It’s time for cuts or our organization is headed towards extinction.”

The opportunity: This can start a conversation on how one calibrates expectations for fiduciary responsibility of the board with the executive and her team’s abilities to manage against a budget.

Three Steps to Improve Nonprofit Board Performance

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like


By: Anthony Tansimore 

Nonprofit executives sometimes find that their boards either underperform or not at all.  Some hope the magic bullet will be new board members who bring energy and a new commitment to the organization and are more engaged.  The dynamic of a low-functioning board rarely shifts with the addition of new people.  What results when nothing shifts is that the executive and board spiral into dysfunction.  The executive ignores the board or hides important matters from them, and the board becomes suspicious that the executive is doing something underhanded and they want to micromanage.  This hostility can last for a long time and both parties live with it, or the executive leaves on her own or at the urging of the board.  Board members fail to be effective stewards of the organizations they serve when executives take their power away.

The executive must determine how to get the best from her board rather than relegating them to the closet, which will hold the organization back.  The board can be a powerful partner with the executive in achieving the organization’s mission.  There are a few very simple steps an executive can take to ensure a productive relationship with her board and their effectiveness on behalf of the mission.

Be Clear About the Board’s Role and Expectations 

The simplest and most important thing an executive can do is to communicate expectations to the board.  Not once or twice, but all the time.  Having a clear job description for board members certainly creates greater understanding of the expectations, but ongoing communications about what the executive needs from her board gives them greater context for how they can serve the organization. 

How Board Members Can Influence and Grow Their Nonprofit Executive

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

shutterstock_70144576 SMALLBy: Dan Cohen

“I’m from your Board of Directors and I’m here to help…”  These words illustrate the worst-case scenario of a board and chief executive that are misaligned.  The board of any nonprofit or foundation has three main jobs, crucial among them hiring, nurturing, and if needed, firing the chief executive.

However, on a day-to-day basis, supporting the chief executive in her role is crucial to the near-term success and long-term stability. Helping your top executive succeed is all-to-often left off the formal agenda.

So, what can a board do to help support/manage its chief executive?  We have identified three main strategies – serving as a thought partner, being a network builder, and acting as a candid source of feedback for the executive’s professional development.

Be a Thought Partner

Where it works well, CEOs tend to rely on the boards to think about and noodle on big strategic questions.  I’ve seen CEOs who will call up board members and float ideas, help make a pivot, leverage their expertise, etc.  But the opportunities are much broader.  One opportunity is to “grow” the executive.  The board can create learning experiences, share personal anecdotes, and provide professional development opportunities both formal and informal.  Beyond that, the board members can serve in a mentoring function.  This may be crucial to a new chief executive and/or executives at key inflection points in their lives.