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Foster Board Accountability


As a leader in an arts and cultural organization, it's essential to strike a balance between supporting your board and ensuring they hold themselves accountable.


Here are three key points to keep in mind when it comes to board engagement and responsibility.


Distinguish help from doing.


While it's natural to want to support and assist your board members, it's crucial to recognize that their role is different from yours.


Board members are volunteers entrusted with governance responsibilities.


Avoid crossing the line between helpful guidance and actually doing their job for them.


By maintaining this distinction, you empower board members to fulfill their obligations and contribute meaningfully to the organization.


Encourage active participation.


Board members may be tempted to delegate governance tasks to staff, but it's important to remind them of their vital role.


Encourage their active involvement in decision-making, strategic planning, and policy development.


When board members actively engage and take ownership of their responsibilities, the organization benefits from their diverse perspectives and expertise.


Cultivate engagement.


A disengaged board is an ineffective board. Recognize that board members are volunteers who may have other commitments and limited time.


However, it's your role as a leader to create a culture of engagement and reinforce the importance of their governance responsibilities.


Provide clear expectations, regular communication, and opportunities for skill development to empower your board to fulfill their role effectively.



Remember, helping your board hold themselves accountable means striking a balance between support and allowing them to take ownership of their governance responsibilities.


Distinguish help from doing, encourage active participation, and cultivate engagement. By fostering board accountability, you'll build a stronger, more effective arts or cultural organization.


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