Learn More - ECFA Governance Toolbox Series


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ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 4
Succession Planning — 11 Principles for Successful Successions: “Every CEO is an Interim CEO”

With four short and informative videos, Series No. 4 highlights 11 principles that boards must address to be prepared for emergency and long-term successions.

The 20-page downloadable viewing guide provides these 11 principles for successful successions—a perfect resource for your next board meeting.

Succession is a fact of life. Your current CEO will one day be your former CEO. Succession planning, however, is too often a random, too-little-too-late, exercise of an ill-prepared board of directors. Let’s change that!

The Facilitator Guide describes three different directions for using the video. You’ll appreciate how your board and staff engage with this creative resource:

  • Option 1: 30-45 minutes of time—divide the board into four groups and assign one video topic to each group.
  • Option 2: 45-60 minutes of time—View vidoes 1,2,3, and 4 in order, but stop for reflection after each video.
  • Option 3: Board retreat or a 2-hour board development session.
  • A powerful resource, “10 Listening Guidelines,” will provide guidelines for entering and maintain a listening posture that helps us hear and interact in ways that are most fruitful.

This fourth-in-a-series toolbox from ECFA includes online access to additional resources.

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ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 3
Addressing Board and Organizational Conflicts of Interest—Avoiding Trouble, Trouble, Trouble With Related–Party Transactions

This 16-minute informative and entertaining video and the Board Member Read-and-Engage Viewing Guide addresses three critical questions about conflicts of interest and related-party transactions.

The 20-page viewing guide includes a board self-assessment tool for each question—a perfect resource for your next board meeting.

Too often in the boardroom, conflicts of interest are either not addressed or relegated to the back burner due to more pressing concerns. Neither approach will enhance your ministry’s reputation. That’s why ECFA urges you to view this video at your next board meeting—and elevate this subject in order to elevate trust and integrity with your givers and the public.

The Facilitator Guide describes three options for using the video. You’ll appreciate how your board and staff engage with this creative resource:

  • The humorous “Invisible Gorilla” video clip will remind your board that we are often “blind to the obvious and blind to our blindness.”
  • “In-the-Trenches Board Interviews” with four board members will highlight how people respond differently to “the elephant in the boardroom.”
  • The viewing guide graphic for the three paths for related-party tests—and when to apply the “Front Page Test” to potential conflicts of interest—will prompt discerning discussions as you apply the model to your unique ministry.
  • A powerful resource, “A Board Prayer,” will inspire your board to address these issues from a spiritual perspective.

This third-in-a-series toolbox from ECFA includes online access to additional resources, including sample conflict of interest policies.

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ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 2
Balancing Board Roles - Understanding the 3 Board Hats: Governance, Volunteer, Participant

The short video and the Board Member Read-and-Engage Viewing Guide makes this obvious, but seldom practiced point: "If you need a board member—recruit a board member. If you need a volunteer—recruit a volunteer."

The 20-page viewing guide includes a board self-assessment tool for each hat—a perfect resource for your next board meeting.

Agree or Disagree?

The Governance Hat:

  • "We invite spiritually discerning and governance-savvy people to consider board service—but we don’t propose marriage on the first date!"
  • "In our organizational annual planning process, we seek to hear God’s voice and spiritually discern His direction. We also ’own the strategy.’"

The Volunteer Hat:

  • "We are crystal clear—when recruiting new board members—that the Volunteer Hat is optional for board members and volunteer service must be passion-based, and aligned with a volunteer’s spiritual gifts, strengths and ’social style.’"
  • We have written board policies and/or protocols that carefully define the reporting relationship for board members when they volunteer in the organization. (Read: The Imperfect Board Member, by Jim Brown)
  • During a board meeting, when a zealous board member inappropriately brings a Volunteer Hat situation or problem to the table, our board chair graciously moves the discussion back to the agenda and true Governance Hat topics.

The Participant Hat:

  • "Board members should be informed, up front, of the organization’s realistic expectations regarding attendance at ministry events (graduations, walk-a-thons, annual celebrations, etc.). Effective boards leverage a Board Member Annual Affirmation Statement, a document signed annually by both new and current members that spells out the specifics for all three hats. This annual affirmation also adds rich meaning to the spiritual calling of board service and inspires high commitment."

This second-in-a-series toolbox from ECFA includes online access to helpful templates, including the annual affirmation statement, plus other resources.

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ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1
Recruiting Board Members - Leveraging the 4 Phases of Board Recruitment: Cultivation, Recruitment, Orientation and Engagement

Look What Others are Saying about the Toolbox Series No. 1:

"I used Toolbox Series No. 1 with a mission board recently and they very much appreciated the content. It helped them a great deal."
Rick Hicks, North American Area Leader, Operation Mobilization

Beware the Cousin Eddie Syndrome!

Have you ever been on a board when a well-meaning, but inexperienced board member pipes up, “My neighbor knows a guy who knows a guy who has a Cousin Eddie. Eddie would be perfect for our board!”

You blink—and presto! Cousin Eddie is on your board. He’s not the right fit. He’s out of sync with your board’s culture. He’s not a generous giver. His Christian character has serious flaws. At best, he’s a warm body.

Now there’s help for the Cousin Eddie Syndrome: The ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1: Recruiting Board Members.

The helpful Facilitator Guide offers three discussion options (short, medium or for a board retreat) and points you to additional resources online.

More topics are coming. ECFA’s goal is to have a robust series of strategic toolkits on the shelf so board chairs and CEOs can readily address board issues with a short video and a focused discussion.

Many boards have a governance life-long learning segment at each meeting. At each meeting of the board I serve on, we include a “Ten Minutes for Governance” hot topic or governance book review. It’s stimulating. None of us is as smart as all of us. We are constantly reminded of our kingdom priorities as stewards of God’s work.

You might wonder: Do Christ-centered boards recruit their members differently than secular boards? They should!  The toolkit addresses the critical role of spiritual discernment and prayer in the board recruitment process.

QUESTION: How does your board avoid the Cousin Eddie Syndrome—and when was the last time you reviewed board recruitment best practices?

Reprinted from the ECFA Blog: Governance of Christ-centered Organizations  http://ecfagovernance.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-cousin-eddie-syndrome.html

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