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Quesnel Community Living Association

  • Serving on a board of directors is an exciting and rewarding way to contribute to your community and to organizations that make a difference.

    But serving on a board is also a big responsibility – especially in today’s rapidly changing, financially troubled economy.

    You are constantly being challenged to define a clear strategy to meet the needs of the people your organization serves, you need to attract and retain great talent, control risk and ensure you know your responsibilities as a member of the board.

    You need to a clear, straightforward understanding of the role of your board and the best practices that will ensure you are able to adapt to strategic, organization and financial issues as they arise.

    Maybe you’ve heard these terms; “working board”, “oversight board”. But what do they mean and how do they affect your role as a board? What happens if your executive director leaves without a successor in place? What happens if a major funder suddenly steps back from a long-term financial commitment? What do you do?

    In 2012, Quesnel Community Living Association had just recently recruited a new Executive Director. The Board asked their new Executive Director to refocus the organization, and strengthen its strategic focus as well as its management structures, policies and processes.

    Prior to the new Executive Director’s arrival, the Board had taken a very hands-on role in the operations of the Association. But it quickly Board recognized the need to shift from being a hands-on working board to an oversight and policy setting board. They also needed to understand the role of a policy board in strategic planning and risk management. They had recruited a new Executive Director to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Association and the Board needed to stepback. But first, the Board needed to be sure it was moving in the right direction and needed to be sure it had the right governance policies in place to be successful.

    The Board asked Realize to help.

    We led an intensive two-day training session with the Board. The session delved deeply into the practical and legal aspects of board governance. Working in a collaborative process, the Board developed a clear understanding and approach to setting strategy and policy, managing risk and managing the roles and responsibilities of the Board and Executive Director. What made the training session particularly valuable to the Board was the way in which Realize customized its approach. We don’t believe in fancy theories of governance. We understand that volunteer board members need practical, common sense tools and information to help them fulfill their critical roles and responsibilities. Drawing on our extensive experience as board members and governance leaders, we helped the Board learn the simple, straightforward steps they needed to take to enhance their governance policies and practices.