Each edition of this newsletter contains a section I call "What Works."
Currently, I'm focused on a series of 15 lessons that I learned while growing the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, buttressed by my observations of dozens of other groups both in Oregon and across the country.
These lessons range from June's lesson: Become the best at something to November's lesson:: Plan, plan, plan.
You can view all the lessons so far on my newly revamped website.
Lesson 9 is: Communicate excessively with your board, but be smart about it.
One of the common pitfalls that new Executive Directors face is a failure to recognize the disconnect between what they know about the organization and what the board and other close friends of the organization know.
You live and breathe this stuff. They don't.
As that gap grows, dangers abound. When it comes to setting the organization's strategic direction, a board and staff that are seriously disconnected about the basic facts about the organization's work are far more likely to disagree.
I once spoke with an Executive Director who feared their board's involvement in strategic planning. "They don't understand what we do, how can they set our strategy?"
I sometimes think of the Executive Director as the conductor and the board as the orchestra. If they aren't on the same page, they may still play, but it won't sound very good.
So my advice to new Executive Directors is to communicate excessively with their boards (and other close friends), but be strategic about it.
Here are my top eight tips about how to make that happen:
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