Today's "Board Orientation" Just Isn’t What It Used to Be!


by Patricia A Hudson, MPsSc and James R Hudson, Ph.D. of the Melos Institute *

This article offers a new perspective on and tips for approaching board orientation, including creating custom agendas.

"Board members come to the organization with their own unique set of skills, experience and expertise. they don’t know what they don’t know – so it’s hard for them to ask for help. They do come with a great deal of eagerness, passion and potential. One of the most important roles you’ll ever play as an executive is to create an environment within which board members not only gain the information needed, but also the skills and techniques necessary to be effective trustees of the organization."

In this article, Patricia and James Hudson of the Melos Institute,* ask you to "abandon traditional thinking and practices about board orientation and replace it with those that make the best use of the skills and talents that exist within the board - through the following steps:

Step 1: Understanding the Nature of the Volunteer Leader

Step 2: Adjust Your Thinking from Board Orientation to Board Development

Step 3: Decide the Type of Board You Want to Develop

Step 4: Create an Agenda that Imparts Knowledge, Strengthens Skills and Shares Techniques

Step 5: Plan Ongoing Strategies to Reinforce Desired Behaviors


* The Melos Institute is a nonprofit nonpartisan independent think tank that works with thinkers and shapers to find new and better ways for volunteer and staff leaders to deliver more meaningful and transformative experiences to their members. The Institute’s applied research initiatives are geared to helping us understand the strategies and tactics as well as the principles, processes and tools that will produce an active and engaged membership.


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