Transitioning a Board’s Mentality

I had a conversation recently with a friend and fellow board member for a local organization. We were talking about board culture and the difference between a “working” board and a “governing” one. We’ve been struggling with transitioning a “working” board to one that is more governing minded. Our big concern is that as we move away from one where board members traditionally did a lot of work to the opposite, that we’ll lose the board’s engagement and passion.

Currently, most of the board members lead committees of one so they end up doing all of the work themselves while the PR committee, which I lead has many members and traditionally holds several sub meetings between board meetings. The workload is split among committee members as well as myself. I take information from the sub meetings and report at monthly board meetings on key points of which everyone should be aware.

We’ve been trying to figure out why it is difficult for the other board members to not put together committees and minimize their work load while maintaining their engagement level. Could it be because PR professionals typically find themselves on my boards, committees and planning teams and learn quickly the value of spreading the workload around? I’m just curious if anyone has ideas or thoughts that we should look at as we help this board transition into the next phase.

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