5 Mistakes Leaders Make When Choosing Board Members

These from Eran Laniado on www.venturebeat.com:

Board ineffectiveness often stems from board nomination mistakes.  Here are five big mistakes that are often made when choosing board members:

#1.  Wrong People on the Board

Carefully consider who you choose to be on the board.  Get feedback from people who have worked with them.  You don’t want people with their own agenda to join the board.

#2)  Misalignment Regarding the Board’s Role

Boards are created to provide legal, financial and liability leadership for the organization.  Their roles should also involve the appointment of a Leader to run the organization. The board should not be involved in micro-managing the operations of the organization.  If this is what they want to do, don’t put them on the board, but hire them into the organization.

#3)  A Homogeneous Board

You need diversity on your board; people from different backgrounds, different experiences and different strengths.  Identify the different skills and experience you need sitting around the table, and go after those people.

#4)  Too Many Board Members

It’s difficult for a large board to communicate, to make decisions, and to coordinate time.  Develop a smaller board. Some suggest no more than 7 board members works best.

#5)  Poor Organizational Fit

Your board needs to be engaged with the purpose and objectives of your organization.  If they aren’t, you don’t want them on the board.  Don’t assume that they will engage.  Figure out what motivates them and what they want to bring to the board.  If it’s not working, make a change.




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