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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LESSON 27 - Report Once and Report with Clarity

Welcome to Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Mike Pate is our guest blogger this week for the third of three lessons in "Part 8: Boardroom Worst Practices.”

LESSON 27 OF 40 - Report Once and Report with Clarity
Hearing the same report more than once is a “10” on the pain threshold!

 In Lesson 27, we’re reminded that the quality of your board meeting experiences rests largely on the quality and effectiveness of your board reporting.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 27, pages 136-139: 
• “Reporting once and reporting with clarity can keep the board out of the weeds and focused on the mission of the ministry.”
• “Consider submitting committee reports to the board only if there is a potential action being recommended…”
• “For every detailed report, there should be an executive summary…”

One of the most frequent questions I hear from CEOs and board chairs is “how do we engage and keep great board members?” And one of the biggest complaints I hear from current board members is “meetings are tedious and dull.” Is it just possible that these two issues are closely linked?  

If you want to engage and keep great people on your board, don’t torture them with boring and redundant reporting. Few things make a meeting feel more irrelevant faster than long, overly detailed reporting. 

I’ve heard it said, (perhaps it was me that said this…) “There are few things in life worse than a bad meeting, and actually few things better than a great meeting!” The quality and clarity of your board reporting will go a long way to improving the engagement, and ultimately the effectiveness, of your board meetings!  


Mike Pate serves as Executive Director of Camping for Transformation Ministries. He oversees five entities including three Christian camps and two outdoor education LLCs.  Mike has served as a coach with the Murdock Trust Board Leadership and Development Program and currently presides as chairman of the board for Christian Community Credit Union. He is also a Certified Canfield Trainer with the Jack Canfield Training Group.

• Consider using a one-page board meeting evaluation form after each meeting to gauge the satisfaction level of your board.
• If you don’t already, provide a brief “executive summary” for every detailed board report that highlights the most salient information. 


On May 30, 2018, watch for Jerry White's commentary on Lesson 28, "Slow Down and Wait on God. 'He does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty.'"

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