The Problem with Motions, Seconds, and Votes

Following Robert’s Rules of Order during a governing board or foundation board meeting might be helpful for imposing order on the discussion.  But, it is almost wholly unhelpful in engaging and exciting the philanthropic imagination of your board members so that ambitious goals can be achieved.

If you want to get important things accomplished and fully engage the important volunteer leaders of your institution, ask reflective questions like, “Why did you decide to join this board?”  Or ask generative questions like, “How could our institution more fully live into our values?”  Or ask strategic questions like, “How do each of you feel about the direction we are going in?”

The most creative, insightful, energizing, and helpful discussions will almost always come when you allow the space for improvised dialogue.


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