Is your board super busy? Top tips on sharing the burden: bring in specialist expertise, include more junior staff and work with service users.
People on voluntary sector boards have heavy workloads – so what’s the best way to share the burden? Sub-committees may not seem exciting, but, used properly, delegating tasks will help your board to be brilliant.
1. Let them delve into detail
Charity trustees often want to get involved in the nitty gritty. But in a busy board meeting, with a tight agenda, that can sometimes be a pain in the neck.
However, executives and trustees will still want to work together from time to time, to delve into detail. Sub-committees are the way to do this without taking precious time away from the primary board meeting. It’s a great way for charity staff to engage with trustees and vice versa, enabling trustees to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day issues affecting the charity while offering their own expertise.
2. Bring in specialists
If your board is proposing something new, controversial or risky, setting up a sub-committee is a clever way to use people who can bring in particular expertise but who, for whatever reason, do not want to or cannot be a full trustee.
Discussions of fundraising regulation have led to a mini governance crisis. It’s time to get trustees more involved with the day-to-day work of charities
It is also a good way to test whether people come up to scratch in terms of their style and expertise, giving you a bigger pool to choose from when recruiting for your main board.
You should also consider the “internal” outsider: someone already on your main board who is interested in a particular issue but is not an expert. They can be used as a sounding board (pun intended) and this is often a great way to test a proposal before presenting it to the rest of the board.
3. Don’t let sub-committees linger on pointlessly
It’s important to close any committee when it has run its course. For instance, you may set one up for a digital needs review and then close it when the review has been done. But committees can also evolve. Something that starts as a review of digital needs could turn into a committee that monitors the implementation of an organisational IT strategy, for instance.
To read the full Guardian article click here.
From: The Guardian – Voluntary Sector Network