It’s called right sizing. You’ve cleaned out every closet and drawer by now. Businesses are doing the same thing. We’ve heard from two associations and one charity all looking to find more efficient ways to operate going forward. Trading their costly offices and staff no longer essential toward more efficient management is just the start of their quest. They are also looking hard at the size of their boards. Is your membership down by 20% but your board is the same size?

Clearly the path going forward needs fresh ideas. I recommend that groups not downsize their expectations, but instead reboot with board member reaffirmation and board training. Yes, even the longtime board members need a reminder about what their roles are and how we move into the 2020 decade with confidence. Which brings me to the awkward part about “lifers” on the board. You need lifters not lifers.

Whether a business association or a charity, the members and supporters deserve board leadership with stamina, activism and positivism. Directors: Get active or get off. We understand that other family and business matters come first. It’s better that a board be smaller, each director engaged, rowing in the same direction than boasting of a large attendance at the zoom meeting. You know … those faces that never have a contribution? Too harsh?

If groups anticipate lower membership and/or diminished financial condition, every board member must really believe in their nonprofit’s mission and be willing to actively and creatively address the challenges ahead as we strategize for 2030. Reboot indeed.

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