The 449 Club Governance Committee
(Helping to keep our Board on track)
The Governance Nominating Committee is the most important committee on our board. The job of enlisting new board members who have the skills, talent, networks, and passion to help advance the organization is a vitally important task.
The Governance Committee will be a standing year round committee, its job is to look after the processes and functioning of the overall board as well as the enlistment process of new board members. The Governance Committee is the recruiting, assessing, and social committee of the board.
Jobs and Responsibilities:
· Maintain an inventory of the skills, capabilities, and other desirable characteristics of present members as well as members the440club is seeking to add.
· Conduct an annual Board Self-Assessment on how well the board is functioning as a whole and as individuals.
· Monitor meetings to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency.
· Oversee the involvement and engagement of all board members: check in with those who miss meetings, and those who have many absences.
· Monitor board vacancies and enlist new board members who fit the Dream Team profile.
· Meet quarterly to identify and review the cultivation status of potential board members.
· Manage board social events so that all board members can get to know each other.
· Manage appropriate board orientation, and invite the rest of the board to attend them.
· Manage appropriate board diversity.
· Manage the overall board’s continuing education.
One of the Governance Committee’s major jobs is to monitor the board’s vacancies on an ongoing basis, covering the functions of a nominating committee. The Governance Committee will work efficiently and take its work in this matter seriously and make it a high priority, will constantly be looking for great potential board members,, It should always keep a pipeline of several prospective board members who are identified and under cultivation. The Committee should be regularly engaged in selecting and interviewing potential board members, slowly cultivating them until they seem ready to serve, and The449Club needs them to serve.
Why the additional functions of a Governance Committee? Because it is important to have an internal group of peers who look after the care and temperature of the board itself. Only peers can ask “How are we doing?” or what do we need to do to be more effective?”
The449Club believes that having an active Governance Committee is conducive to a happier more engaged board, one that is clearer about its expectations, its work, and the result it is creating. The Governance Committee is like the watchdog over all the boards’ activities and operations,. Among its duties are:
· Monitoring the board’s overall functioning: This process gives the449club a way to identify problems or breakdowns. The Governance Committee will be the cheerleading group that can help inspire everyone on the board to tackle vigorously any tough issues (And we know they will occur) and the work at hand. Every board needs a cheerleader or two, or three.
· Monitoring social time: The449Club believes in having and providing enough social time for the board members to get to know each other. The449Club asked the question here as “How can a group of people work collegially together ass a board or committee if they don’t even know each other?”
No board can function effectively unless the members have a friendly relationship. As an example: A coffee/tea social before each board meeting can be most valuable, This is when casual, friendly personal conversations happen, which generates trust and cohesion within the group. The Governance Committee makes sure these important social times happen.
· Acclimating new members: New board members have a particularly hard time fitting in and feeling comfortable making their contributions, when they are not well acquainted with other board members. Think about how you feel when you enter a new group of people who all know each other and who are already working together. We all to often neglect our new board members, leaving them to fend for themselves and meet other board members haphazardly.
The Governance Committee makes certain that the new members are properly oriented and acclimated and that they get introduced and get to know other board members. The Governance Committee makes sure that those all to forgotten name tags and name place board are ready for each board meeting and, because most board meeting are open to the public it will give the449club members and general public of who the members are and what their titles are.
· Monitoring board member engagement and satisfaction: Another major function of the Governance Committee is monitoring a board members happiness, engagement, and satisfaction. Remember, board members who are dissatisfied with their roles and experience are more likely to catch that dreaded and contagious disease, “Board Member Malaise”
· Guarding the board’s informed culture: The449Club have explored earlier the difficulties of changing the culture of a group of people, including its ways of operating, communicating, and making decisions. The Governance Committee can be the guardian of the boards informal culture, working to keep these attitudes positive, engaged, and focus on the big picture. If a negative or disengaged energy sets in it could be difficult to cure.
The Governance Committee can help safeguard the good energy and positive outlook of new board members. The last thing we want our board members and especially the enthusiastic new board members, who are energetically embracing their new roles to confront tired “same old. Same old” attitudes. They are likely to lapse into inactive, inaction very quickly, as the older and setting board members take over and kills their enthusiasm.
It is up to the Governance Committee to be sure that no the energy-sapping malaise ever sets in and to keep this unhappy, condition at bay, this group should use its full range of inspirational and management tools, exciting visionary retreats, honest self-examinations and self-assessments, a professional, deliberate recruiting process; ample social time for board members to create friendships, and collegiality; and ensuring that meetings are dynamic, engaging, and dealing with important issues that affect The449Club organization’s future. The Governance Committee members are also the ones that ask: “How did we do?” Their job is to look at how the boards Operates, how it conducts its meetings and how effective the time is that the entire board spends together.
Consider the Power of Asking: “How Did We Do as a Board in Our Meeting Today?”
After the full board meeting is formally adjourned, the Governance Committee can convene informally and ask: “How did we do as a group today?” This will be an opportunity for the group (GC) to open up informally and share opinions and issues that the formal Robert’s Rules of Order meetings don’t allow.
This type of discussion draws out a new type of conversation. It is an out-of-the-box approach to group process.
\What is “group process” anyway? The term refers to the informal mode and ways a group functions together. How the “culture” of the group operates. How it treats its members. What it values. Who dominates? Who hides?
What alliances there are within the group? How it communicates among the members and the tone of the conversations, Does the Governance Committee group respect differences or ignore them? Is there collegiality or division?
Here are suggested questions to ask to reflect on the board’s performance, these are things the Governance Committee should consider in evaluating how the Board performs:
· Does the President (Board Chair) chair the meeting effectively? Why or why not?
· Do the agenda items relate to and support the good governance? Are we addressing the important issues in our meetings?
· Are all board members contributing, or are a few dominating our discussions?
· Are we seeking feedback from our key stakeholders
· Are we scanning the horizons for trends and outside influences and taking action?
There should also be lighthearted ways to manage the organization and of monitoring the boards behavior. For example:
1. Create a checklist for good board conduct; assign someone at each meeting to check off the list and report in the last hour.
2. Make it okay to goof up by awarding funny gifts for bad behavior, the idea is that everyone makes mistakes; doing it wrong is how everyone learns to go it right the next time
3. Good board conduct is something that is not discussed:
We all know that is not “good board conduct.” Just think of the meetings we have all sat through in survival mode, exasperatedly listening as someone goes off endlessly on an irrelevant tangent, or indulges in unproductive hand-wringing, or brings up old decisions that have been laid to bed months ago.