Intentionally. Any ‘work’ that is not moving you in the direction of your organization’s goals is not ‘work’—it’s a time-waster.
The first place a board can start is by looking at its meeting agendas. Too often, we assemble our meeting agendas quickly, basing them off of an agenda template that we’ve used for years, and moving through a list of ‘to do’ items that seems to have very little connection to our strategy or what the organization is trying to accomplish on a broader scale.
To connect your board meeting work to your broader plan, think about what the board needs to address this month to make a twelfth (or a tenth or a fourth—depending upon how often your board meets) of its progress toward its annual objectives. What should be happening financially? In fundraising? In marketing?
Think about that these meetings as ways that you recalibrate your team as it moves towards its annual goals. The questions, ‘how are we doing?’ ‘where are we on that?’ and ‘what’s next?’ will be more of the theme of the meeting. Committee and executive reports should help answer these questions, and if progress is lagging in some area, the board should address that by determining what (not how) is the next step to get things (back) on track.
Connecting your strategic plan to the regular work of the board and its committees helps move your organization toward its goals and ensures that your plan doesn’t just sit on a shelf gathering dust.