Keys to Board Dynamics

Updated: Oct. 12, 2018  |  Categories: Board Productivity  

Solutions for Board Disconnect

Despite the fact that your chapter is not a multi-million-dollar corporation, the ever-desired successful volunteer board can take solid lessons from the practices of for-profit enterprises, their CEOs, and their Board of Directors. In many ways, your chapter mirrors them, even if the purpose and scale are much different.

For a board, and its company, to be successful, the board dynamics are essential. This is no different for your chapter’s board. Let’s start with an assessment of your board’s dynamics that surround three main aspects that impact your chapter’s success:

1. Cultural (or emotional) intelligence. This has to do with how aware a person is of other people and their background. As society continues to develop, it has created a more dynamic work force and pool of candidates for your board.  Leaders need to understand the vast differences people have and cater to their strengths.

2. High quality of skills and experience. Your volunteer board needs to consist of people with the needed skills and the ability to execute on initiatives that are vital to the success of the chapter. Of course, there also needs to be a willingness to learn and grow in abilities as well. Having a healthy balance of people pushing their limits and those who have years of experience is ideal. 

3. Strong team functionality. Even if you have a team of people with amazing abilities and experiences, if they cannot work together, then all is lost. Sure, some work might get done, but not to any level of success that will make your chapter shine like you want it to. The sum of your team together, working in tandem to accomplish a goal, is worth more than any given member of your board.

To achieve the greatness that your board wants to reach, you will need to assess its “profitability.”  What profit is your chapter providing to your members in the form of value? Beyond asking your chapter’s members how they think the board is doing, you must find a way to measure your board’s success.

Here are some solutions:

  • Some organizations create an assessment committee. Their entire purpose is to examine how things are going with the board.
  • Utilize a proprietary assessment tool. There are some available that your chapter can purchase the rights to use. Once an appropriate tool for your field is acquired, you can adjust the tool to fit your chapter.
  • You can create your own assessment tool. Maybe utilize it alongside the transition of your board, to ensure your new board is prepared.
  • It is okay to seek outside help. Some chapters employ agencies or consultants to assess their efficiency and success.


If your volunteer board is not achieving its goals, for whatever reason, it is essential you find out why. In many cases, it can be traced back to a disconnect either in terms of cultural intelligence, member skills, or team dynamics. Having knowledge allows your chapter to self-correct and get back on track to achieving its goals. 

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