I participated in an Association Forum of Chicagoland roundtable discussion on governance last week. It was the consensus of participants that new association leaders — whether officers, directors, assembly members or committee chairs — need to attend an annual bootcamp. Indeed, it is a good idea to invited tenured leaders as well.
An orientation topic which is usually overlooked is etiquette. Is it appropriate to text or be on Facebook during meetings? Are leaders expected to read the agenda book in advance so they are prepared for discussion? What is your bar’s attendance policy? Review these expectations with your new leaders. Ask them to sign an agreement concerning their duties and expectations upon nomination.
Besides orientation, we also discussed other aspects of board development. What about sending your board a short survey after every meeting? This can assist you with planning future meetings. Have you thought about conducting exit interviews as officers, directors, committee chairs and assembly members leave office?
Remember that your board members have a fiduciary obligation to your association. Provide them with the tools to effectively carry out their duties.