• Board and committee structure. Incoming board members
need to know the organizational structures that are in
place to (hopefully) help the board, volunteers and staff
effectively function. Clarify the roles of the board and
committees and set expectations for the volunteers who
serve on them.
• Role of the officers. This is an opportunity to clarify roles
and set expectations. Does your president vote? What is
the role of the president-elect? A good message is that the
officers generally have half as much power as is assumed
by the general membership, but twice as much accountability.
• Role of the board vs. role of the staff. You cannot complain about a board that micromanages if you do not set
clear expectations early in your relationship with them. All
board members want to contribute. If they feel they have
relatively little to contribute to strategic or higher-level
discussions, they will try to contribute by pointing out that
the price of coffee or soda at your host hotel or convention
center is very high.
• Rules for board meetings. Now is a good time to briefly
review any logistics and ground rules you may have for the
board meeting itself, such as what a typical agenda looks
like, what a consent agenda is, why it’s a good idea to ask
questions about an issue before a board meeting and why
not to conduct business during a board meeting.
Dave Bergeson, Ph.D., CAE, is account executive at the Association
Management Center in Glenview, Ill. He may be reached at
SAVANNAH SAVANNAH V
SAVINGS SAVIN GS
An offer y’all can’t refuse!