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Building Better Boards: A three-part series for Board Leaders and Executive Directors

Three 90 minute sessions, Oct. 6-Nov. 9, 2021, 1pm-2:30pm EDT


As part of MANP’s Get on Board initiative, we're excited to welcome back international governance consultant Susan Meier to lead this three-part series for board leaders and executive directors as a chance to collectively discuss the various challenges nonprofits face in board development and how to overcome them by fostering a healthy board culture built on trust, candor, and mutual respect.

Registering for the series and attending as a team or in teams is highly encouraged for maximum benefit.

Series Outline + Schedule
All sessions take place 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern.

Increasing Board Engagement: Governance as Leadership
WEDS, October 6, 1pm-2:30pm EDT

This session is for board leaders grappling with questions like: Is your board struggling to effectively engage on matters of the greatest importance? Is it trapped by habitual tasks and routine, marginal work? Does it fail to ask the hard questions, or any questions at all? Does it suffer from groupthink, or even worse, tend to listen to the same handful of board members over and over?

Many nonprofit boards, especially as we emerge from the pandemic, are rethinking how they govern in order to more effectively advance our missions in constructive partnership with the chief executive. Based on the book, Governance as Leadership, we will engage in a highly interactive discussion on how to effectively reframe the work of the board using the fiduciary, strategic, and generative modes. We will also explore how boards can cultivate a culture where assumptions are challenged and tough questions are asked to ensure due diligence and ethical decision-making.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  • Better engage your board by offering more meaningful and consequential work
  • Increase the value of board contributions to fiduciary and strategic work
  • Invite your board to engage in generative thinking, the most underutilized of the three modes
  • Build a culture of inquiry in your boardroom
Who should attend Session #1
This session is for current and future Board Leaders and Executive Directors interested in building a board culture for effective engagement. Discounts on team registrations!

Fortifying the Board-Executive Director Partnership
WEDS, October 27, 1pm-2:30pm EDT

In today’s complex world, it is paramount for Board Leaders and the Executive Director to work in alignment and respect the division of labor between governing and managing. Yet these relationships are often challenged by differing understanding of roles, leadership turnover, personalities, and a lack of good communication. Too often we are content to accept an “ok” relationship rather than investing the time to build a stronger partnership that will advance the mission and strengthen the organization. It’s time to make this a priority.

In this interactive session, you will learn:
  • Key elements and proven outcomes of a constructive partnership
  • How to move from a good relationship to a great relationship
  • The importance of this relationship to overall Board-staff relations
  • How to disagree and still serve as a strong leadership team
  • The integral connection between the Board Chair-Executive Director partnership and Board culture
Who should attend Session #2
This session is for current and future Board Leaders and Executive Directors who wish to gain concrete guidance on how to strengthen that alliance and lead more effectively into the future. Discounts on team registrations!

Who’s Next: Proactively Navigating Successful Leadership Transitions
TUES, November 9, 1pm-2:30pm EST

Strong leadership is integral to our ability as nonprofits to be adaptive and responsive in advancing our missions. Leadership transitions are inevitable, and yet we rarely prepare for them and we seem surprised when they ‘suddenly’ appear. By avoiding the topic, one challenge is simply traded for a different one and a prime opportunity to strengthen the organization is missed. It’s time we reframed the conversation and shift the mindset about succession planning to one of deeper sustainability planning.

Join us for this interactive session to explore emerging practices in both executive and board leadership transitions. How are these processes different in the nonprofit sector vis a vis the corporate sector? What is the role of the executive director in succession planning? How do we ensure that our practices and procedures are culturally sensitive? Are we intentionally cultivating diverse candidates for leadership opportunities?  

In this session, we will:

  • Explore important considerations of nonprofit leadership transitions and change management
  • Deepen our understanding of the promising practices and emerging trends regarding executive succession planning
  • Identify concrete steps to better cultivate board members for leadership roles
  • Discuss lessons learned about what to do and what not do to increase the chances of a healthy, smooth, and positive transition
Who should attend Session #3
This session is for current and future Board Leaders and Executive Directors interested in using succession planning as a strategy to ensure the sustainability of their missions. Discounts on team registrations!

About the Presenter
Susan MeierSusan Meier, Principal at Susan Meier and Associates, LLC and Senior Governance Consultant with BoardSource, brings over 30 years of governance and nonprofit experience to her work. From 2004 through 2011, Susan served as the vice president of consulting and training for BoardSource, the nation's premier governance resource for nonprofit organizations. She works collaboratively with nonprofit executives and board leadership to identify governance challenges and opportunities and to implement proven strategies to address a broad array of governance issues. Read Susan's full bio here.

Cost + Registration

Series (Three Sessions)
  • $129 Members / $179 Nonmembers
  • Scholarships available! Email your request along with your name and organization to Learn@NonprofitMaine.org.
  • Team learning saves! $40 off additional registrations from the same organization
  • Register for the Series
Single Sessions
Special Thanks
MANP's Get on Board initiative is funded in part by John T. Gorman Foundation, The Betterment Fund and Onion Foundation. Our 2021 programs are sponsored by Camden National Bank and Mainebiz.

Questions? Need Assistance?
Email the MANP education team if you have questions regarding content or how to register at Learn@NonprofitMaine.org. If you have accessibility accommodations, email us with your request at least two weeks prior to the start of the event. Although we will attempt to meet all accessibility requests, late request may not be fulfilled. 

Location + Directions

Location: Your Desk! Webinar Series
Address and Directions
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