Issue 10

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BoardWorks International
Issue 10, 2012

Are You Investing In Your Board?

The beginning of a new year is a good time to be thinking not only about the board’s work plan for the year but about its continuing professional development.  Most cities have a multitude of governance related training courses that may be accessed and attended by individuals. There is often greater value for the board, however, if professional development opportunities can be enjoyed by the whole board at the same time. Even for boards of highly experienced professional directors a range of benefits is available. The benefit is usually even greater for boards with relatively inexperienced, volunteer members. Think about what your board might gain from undertaking some shared professional development this year.

To increase the chance of realising these benefits you should look for professional development opportunities that will be delivered specifically to a brief reflecting your board’s particular needs. A board effectiveness review that may have identified particular development needs and opportunities is a great starting point.

Workshop content for boards should be delivered in an interactive manner that reflects adult learning styles, works on the board’s own data generated during the workshop, and increases the opportunities for your members to learn from each other. Ideally, workshops should also be designed to accomplish part of the board’s work plan at the same time. For example, we are often asked to deliver professional development opportunities that focus on helping a board become ‘more strategic’. By describing and illustrating particular concepts it is a relatively easy next step to have the board get into ‘strategic thinking’ mode and learn by doing (or at least starting) the work that needs to be done anyway. 

Investing in continuing professional development – can you afford not to?


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