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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

LESSON 36 - Decrease Staff Reporting and Increase Heavy Lifting

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. Bob King is our guest blogger this week for the third of seven lessons in "Part 11: Boards That Lead and Boards That Read.”

LESSON 36 OF 40 - Decrease Staff Reporting and Increase Heavy Lifting
Consider the good, the bad and the ugly.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: There are two big ideas in this lesson: the first, shorten staff reports; the second, by doing the first part of the lesson, you will allow for more time and heavy lifting (code for “real board work”) by the board during any given meeting.

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 36, pages 184-188: 
 Then each team member reads the same report at the board meeting—the worst sin of all.” 
• “Encourage your CEO to coach all senior team members prior to every board meeting…”  

John and Dan are too generous by recommending no more than 10 slides. Staff presentations should be no more than three slides, with under 10 words per slide. Remember, the speaker’s responsibility is to condense and synthesize the information for the audience. Not just talk about all they know. Be concise. Holophrastic.* 

*Holophrastic: “expressing a complex of ideas in a single word or in a fixed phrase” 


Prior to starting C.O.O. Services, LLC, in 2008, Bob King served as president of a national, multi-site manufacturer of office and school supplies. C.O.O. Services provides broad-based services to mid-market companies and nonprofit entities, including: interim, project and fractional operational executives; strategic planning process and facilitation; leadership and organizational assessments; retained executive search; succession, transition and exit planning services; and governance and board coaching. Bob is a Certified Management Consultant® (CMC®) and Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) and currently serves on the board of directors of C3 Leaders in Seattle and is vice chair of the board at Warm Beach Christian Camp and Conference Center. He is also a board coach in the Thriving Boards program of Christian Camp and Conference Association. He seeks to live his life by his 7-F mission statement: Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, Fluency, Fitness, and Finances.

• Step 1: Be clear and concise about what is expected of the staff.
Step 2: Think through some heavy lifting (actual board work) that you can do—now that you’ve eliminated all that wasted time!


On Aug. 1, 2018, watch for the commentary by David Schmidt on Lesson 37, "Don't Stretch Credulity With BHAGs and Stretch Goals. The actual achievement of audacious goals is very uncommon."

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