The following note originally appeared in HCSCC’s The Hourglass, Winter 2019 edition.
“It is a pleasure serving HCSCC as president,” says Evert. “We have a fine Board of Directors and a wonderful staff. The individual members of both bring together many talents to make for a knowledgeable and effective organization. As a member, you too can be proud of HCSCC.”
“HCSCC’s Board of Directors is currently working on two studies with two different consultants. One is developing a long-term plan and the other is working to identify our board’s strengths and weaknesses — in the hopes of improving. As the board works through these projects, I think of the privilege I’ve had to serve on many boards, both governmental and nonprofit. Most of these experiences have been exciting and meaningful, though others have been painful. I’ve learned a few lessons from these experiences.”
1.) Group decisions are usually better than individual decisions. The preferences you bring to the discussion are often tempered and enlightened by other points of view. The wisdom of the whole group will make for a better decision.
2.) Board loyalty is important. All members must be loyal to the decisions made by the group even if it differs from their own preference. Members should advocate for their preferred positions, but it is vital to stand loyal to the ultimate decision.
3.) Boards set goals and parameters. The executive director and staff carry out the organization goals as they choose, though they must adhere to board directives. The board directs the executive director, and the executive director directs staff.
4.) Board diversity enhances effectiveness. The more diverse the board — in relation to gender, race, background, wealth, etc. — the more effective the board will be. Diversity may decrease efficiency, but it will increase the board’s effectiveness. In other words, meetings and decisions may take more time, but broader input builds better outcomes.
5.) All boards can benefit from training. No matter how effective, boards improve with training, including self-evaluation and group reflection carried out on a regular basis.
Feature image shows Jon Evert receiving the Clay County Heritage Award from Executive Director Maureen Kelly Jonason. Evert was elected board president on May 3 in 2018. He first attended an annual meeting in 1966 while he was a student at Concordia College.