Using FREE Technology to Engage Your Board
– a Non-Techies Guide

Eniac ComputerImagine if your board members

  • were more deeply engaged in your organization’s work
  • had all the information they needed AND read it / understood it each month
  • had critical documents such as bylaws at their fingertips (without having to haul around a 3-inch-thick policy binder).
  • knew each other as people (rather than as “Bob – that guy who never says much – I think he’s an accountant. Or a stockbroker…”)

This Tuesday, April 30, 2013 Creating the Future will host a Flash Class webinar, “Using FREE Technology to Engage Your Board.” And after the class is over, this post will be the place for asking questions, sharing aha’s, and digging deeper into what you learned.

If you haven’t already registered, it isn’t too late – and at $9.99, you can’t beat the price. Info is at the link here.

We hope to see you there!

 

3 Responses to Using FREE Technology to Engage Your Board
– a Non-Techies Guide

  1. I serve on a Patient and Family Advisory Council for a health industry entity. After a year of being shot down every time I made a suggestion and being told I wasn’t needed on any project for which I volunteered, I feel I am wasting my time. But after watching the class on engaging one’s board, I decided to try again. Because I was unable for health reasons to attend the May meeting in person I was permitted to listen to it over a phone link. One member requested that Council be given advance agendas and background information for meetings. I sent a group e-mail after the meeting in support of that request, offering a few suggestions on what that might look like; additionally, asking for timely minutes (any minutes at all would be progress for this group); asking if we could follow our charter on several administrative matters; and requesting that I be sent the handouts from the meeting. That was two weeks ago and there has been not a single reply. This group may be disengaged beyond hope. I am all but resigned to resigning.

    • Judith – It’s very hard to know what’s really happening here but it sounds like this situation may have been going on for quite a while. So, I suspect that any changes will take time. One of the most powerful tools you have is to ask questions and listen with compassion. Questions designed without the answer you expect built in. The more you understand what the circumstances and reasons behind the current reality are, the more you can see where and how your input makes sense.

  2. I did eventually get a reply from the Director of Volunteers for the institution (a 501c3 hospital). I was castigated for the perceived “disrespectful, demanding, and inappropriate” tone that “many” (unnamed) people found offensive. In addition, I am considered to be focused on negative aspects of structure and process and unable to contribute to the purpose of the Council. What this really means is that I implied that a friend and fellow staffer of hers wasn’t doing her job (she wasn’t but I didn’t say that). The rest of her explanation for why nothing I suggested could possibly be done made it plain that she and other hospital staffers completely control every aspect of the Council’s functioning and that they intend to keep it that way. Realistically, the Council is not a Board; it belongs totally to the hospital, not the Council members, and the hospital can do whatever it wants with it. This being a long-standing attitude and practice (as you surmised) and as my very minimal requests were met with the same hostility that open-ended questions have met before, plus this time were accompanied by threats of dismissal from the Council, it was obvious that I did not belong on the Council (and would never be able to do any creative work for it) so I have resigned.

    I have sworn off community benefit organizations for the time being. The local hospice group would like me back but I need time to recover from my battering by the hospital.

    I enjoyed your class, took lots of notes, re-watched the video, got lots of great ideas even though I wasn’t in a position to use them. Thank you for your efforts.

    Judith

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