With a tip of the hat to a certain late night TV talk-show host, I have been thinking about what makes a board “good” or “bad” and have come up with a top twenty list that covers a lot of ground. I originally titled this article “Top Five”…then Top Ten…but had to go to twenty items on my list.

Well, here’s my first ten items. I’ll post the rest soon. What did I miss? Drop me a note with your thoughts…

  1. Weak strategic planning and poor alignment of goals, tactics, resources and activities with the mission.
  2. Infrequently monitor financial results
  3. Rely on too few revenue sources and not nurturing a variety of independent revenue streams
  4. Filling the Board with “resume builders” who have little or no passion for the mission
  5. Tolerating poor performance and poor governance
  6. Micro-managing the organization’s leaders
  7. Failing to make investments in organizational capacity-building, such as training of employees, and important organizational infrastructure features like information management, human resource management, and using economies of scale
  8. Permitting complacency to slip into the organization
  9. Avoiding organizational, employee performance, and board member annual reviews
  10.  Permitting a culture whereby the ED/CEO, or Board President becomes bigger than the organization and its mission
So this is my first take on top practices why boards do poorly…send me your thoughts and I’ll post them along with the next installment of my reasons.