Board Chairs: Qualification and Orientation

The 2016 study of board chairs, “Voices of Board Chairs” by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, observed that most individuals become board chairs after a period of service on a board sub-committee. Often that, coupled with a willingness to chair the board, are the only prerequisites for service as a chair. The study and my experience would suggest a couple of additional considerations.

  1. Not all board members are chair material – “not anyone can do it well!”
  2. Keen self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and a readiness to be a group facilitator are among the most important prerequisites.
  3. The Board should develop generally understood succession planning processes for chairs.
  4. The Board and CEO can develop good protocols for orientation.
  5. CEOs can and should have a significant role in these processes, but they should not be driven only by the CEO.

What observations would you make about board chair succession practices?

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This entry was posted in Agenda, Board Chairs, Board of Directors, Boards, Culture, Executive Sessions, Governance, Non-profit. Bookmark the permalink.

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