While attending a board meeting recently, I heard the President of an association Board of Directors comment, ”remember, I won’t be here after June.” It struck me that there must be so much time spent not only training and integrating new board members, but also a great loss of direction and governing style when experienced individuals leave association boards.
The Portage Group had been brought into this particular meeting to present options of structure models to align with strategic goals. Although this was not the focus of our presentation, one comment that came forward was in regards to bringing ‘younger people’ to the board to have a more diverse representation. “every new generation brings a fresh perspective to previous traditional approaches.”
Perhaps part of recruiting members to your Association could highlight the benefit and opportunity to become part of a diverse and experienced Board of Directors. Where an up and coming professional could develop relationships with experienced people in their sector with a wealth of information in that industry and a vast amount of contacts.
Some of the top reasons you might want a younger demographic on your board:
1. To Manage Technology
At TPG, we often hear feedback from clients that there is a need to improve their association technologies. Often improvements are done once or twice and are not able to be maintained. Having someone directly involved with the association to manage this (in a volunteer position no less!) could be greatly beneficial.
2. To Talk to and Attract Similar and Like-Minded People
While current board members might have a large network of industry professionals, some young blood on the Board could have a far reach when it comes to new potential members and would certainly have ideas of how to reach them
3. To Create Value Add Ideas for Members
Often new ideas can become fairly stagnant on a board where most of the faces have been around in some capacity for many years. Someone new to the group might have some creative ideas of how to attract and retain members as well as enhance value.
4. To Offer New Perspective on Old Traditions.
Are there members of your board who have older children that might be interested in following in their parents footsteps? Do you know someone who might benefit from the industry connections and know how? A fresh and younger face on the board could come with loads of perspective on how to build new traditions.
Change is inevitable. But planning for it could create more of an opportunity than just restructure. Some ideas shared in this blog were found in the article http://nonprofithub.org/board-of-directors/nonprofit-millennials-board-directors/
Succession planning and development of board of directors is just one way The Portage Group can help your association. Find out more about our services at www.theportagegroup.com