Board Development for your YNPN Board
With professional development events happening frequently it is easy to forget to provide development opportunities specifically for our chapter’s board members. The type of development I am talking about here is the kind that helps your board run more effectively and efficiently. Professional development that also provides board members with a richer YNPN experience.
Board development doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Here are a few easy ways you can provide your board development opportunities in 15 minutes of a board meeting.
Assign board members to each development slot - During every board meeting you can ask an individual member to lead a 15 minute development task. This could include improving a board process, getting to know each other better, or helping board members learn more about their own leadership and work style.
Have dinner together - Something we started recently in Grand Rapids and I have heard other chapters around the country do too, is we have dinner together prior to every board meeting. We start our meetings at 5:15 p.m. with 15 minutes to grab food and talk at the beginning of each meeting. This not only helps us start on time, but allows for our members to get to know more about others’ lives outside of YNPN.
Start with congratulations and kudos - Ask board members to congratulate each other at the beginning of the meeting. Give everyone a moment to acknowledge the good work their fellow board members are doing. Not everyone has to give a kudos, but a few for hard work the month before can go a long way.
Allow board members to bring their work experience to meetings - Allow members to share tools, tips, educational events, etc they experience during their typical work day. Everyone of us has something we could teach fellow board members about our work. For example, if one of your board members works at the Humane Society, they could walk the board through a 15 minute educational session on feral cats. On the other side, if one of your board members teaches seniors to work with word or helps individuals be more productive in their emails you can provide them an opportunity to give their fellow members some tips.
Have advisory board assess board processes - Many YNPNs have advisory boards they use to help improve their work in the community. Another way to use the advisory board is to have them assess potential or already established board processes. If they look at one process a quarter these can be discussed during board meetings.
None of these five things are rocket science, but all provide your board with a meaningful experience as a member of YNPN. It is easy, as an all volunteer board, to get burnt out and mixing up some fun or otherwise educational experiences into our board meetings can help us to avoid a little bit of that.