So, You're the New President. Now What?
Updated: May. 19, 2015
Will your board be supportive of your changes?
Getting support from your board is important. You probably will have a mix of members on your board - members that have been on the board for years and have a lot of experience and opinions about what will work and what will not and new members who have never served on the board before. Garnering support from both types of board members is important and it is equally important to not alienate any board member or cause them feel unappreciated or undervalued.
Once you have a clear idea about what changes you want to make, it is a good idea to write them down and make some lists. A good place to start is by listing the pros and cons (or risks and rewards) for each idea. You also want to write down each board member or volunteer that will be affected by these changes. This is helpful to see how one change in one area of the chapter might affect multiple leaders on the board.
When you have this list or chart worked out, you need to do some one-on-one communication with the people affected by these changes. People appreciate being in the loop and by consulting each person individually, you give them the respect they deserve and a sense of their level of support of your idea. You can also listen and address their concerns privately without having them aired in front of the entire board. Once you have talked to everyone, you can then bring up the change at a board meeting for discussion and/or vote.
This little bit of background work will help you implement the change you want in a way that includes all board members and avoid awkward, open discussions and time wasted at board meetings.