It’s a major dilemma. You’ve invited some outstanding community members, thought leaders, and friends to be on your board. You thought it would go well and it hasn’t. The board, simply, is not working. And now you’re stuck. What should you do?

Well, it won’t be easy because undoing these kinds of things is never popular or without conflict. Regardless, you need to take steps to have a functional board. And you must do that now.

Here is what Jeff and I suggest:

  1. Print out a copy of the blog I wrote entitled “How to Secure Board Members Who Really Work.
  2. Create an internal plan for implementing the concepts in that blog. Include in the plan your list of categories and subcategories of work and note which person on your current board fits each one. By doing this, you will be able to not only find the good matches, but you’ll also identify those board members who may not match any category.
  3. Having made your matches of board members to current work, you now can go to those board members who you intend to retain and tell them of the new process you’ll be implementing. Concurrently, you’ll need to meet with board members who you cannot retain and tell them about your new direction. This will not be easy, but you must do it. The important point here is to have personal, one-on-one meetings with each board member to inform and influence them in support of the new process. Do this with confidence.
  4. After talking with current board members, and securing from them and others, recommendations for candidates who can fill the empty slots in your plan, formally implement your plan in a board meeting and move your board into this new way of working.

While this is a broad outline of how to do this in your organization, you may have different approaches and nuances that you will need to insert into the process. Do that with confidence and speed while you keep your focus to make sure you move from your current way of operating to this new, more efficient way.

Then, manage the process going forward. We think you will find this new way of working far more effective. Watch what happens. And tell us how it went.