Talented, educated, exposed, connected, energized, experienced and caring people are needed on committees and at the board to ensure that good governance happens.
Talent doesn’t “just happen”. A process is needed to make sure that the right people are chosen, the right mindset is developed and the right tools are supplied to members who have potential for board service.
Cultivation of “those with potential” is a must-do to fill the talent pipeline with quality candidates.
The Talent Journey
Developing talent is a journey, slow and deliberate. Here are the steps for preparing The Next Generation for club governance.
Enlarge the Talent Pool.
The governance journey starts with an educated and informed membership. Communications are key and over-communication is a “must-do”. Lots of letters from the President. Lots of board updates on projects, finances, operations. Lots of articles in the newsletter. Lots of videos on what’s happening or will be happening. Open the door and give members a look at the inner workings of the club and The Big Issues facing the board and committees. Informed members are automatically in The Talent Pool.
Template The Basics.
Create a report card that identifies the qualities you’re looking for in ALL governance candidates. Frequency of use. Member network. Availability. Engagement. Discussion skills. Collaborative mindset. Special talents and experience—finance, insurance, construction, education, etc.
Develop a system for identifying and inventorying those-with-potential. Scouts are needed who’ve “been there, done that” and know what’s needed to do Good Governance right. The GM, current and past Presidents, current and past board and committee members—all of whom have been involved in governance, know the issues and needs and are connected to lots of members within the club community—need to be selected and trained as talent scouts. Their job is to use their personal encounters and their extensive network to identify members who have the personality, the interest, the balanced perspective, a collaborative mindset, the professional experience and the club enthusiasm to be considered for governance.
Select for Service.
After the Chairman’s recommendation and board consideration, “Those with Potential” are selected for committee service. These members need to be matched up with the right committee to ensure that their talents are useful and their interest is assured.
Expose and Educate.
Talent needs to be developed. At the start of every committee year, a comprehensive governance review is given to every committee which includes governance guidelines, operational and strategic issues.
During the year, the Chairman and GM (who will be attending key committees) will determine if “Those With Potential” attend meetings regularly, exhibit enthusiasm, are active participants, read what’s distributed, come prepared to discuss what’s distributed, engage in the discussion of what’s distributed, contribute energy to the committee meeting, are given AND follow through with assignments, present their research and conclusions effectively, are collaborative during meetings, bring comments and insights from their member network, are eager to continue serving and exhibit an enthusiasm for MORE—more assignments, more committees, more research, more engagement.
“Those With Potential” need coaches and mentors, people who can tell them “how it’s done” and can give them advice and insight into the governance process. The G.M., the President and the Committee Chair are key to the process. These coaches and mentors know their coaching / mentoring responsibilities, know the people they’re assigned to and are responsible for reaching out and connecting with their mentees.
During their Committee service, professional consultants / educators / operational experts should be hired and used to further the committee members’ understanding of issues specific to that committee and issues of interest to the entire membership community.
If the committee member exhibits the right “governance qualities”, they are then given other committees to serve on in the coming years. Ideally, in order to provide broad spectrum understanding of the club and the governance process, these “minor leaguers” should serve on three committee for at least a year each before being considered for board service.
When this process is complete, these “Minor Leaguers” should be considered “Certified for Board Service” and added to the list of candidates for the coming year’s board.
Nominate, Elect, Use.
Once “Those With Potential” have successfully served their time in The Minors—once they’ve been exposed, educated and “certified” for board service—once their skill set is properly developed, they should be added to the list of “Targeted Minor Leaguers.” Then, depending on the needs of the board at any given time—operational, project, financial, etc.—the selection committee should choose candidates who’ve been groomed, cultivated and certified for board service.
The Talent Journey
It takes time to develop board talent.
It’s a process, slow and methodical.
Be patient. Identify, expose, educate, “certify” and select The Next Generation of board members.
And while you’re cultivating, enjoy the journey…………………