" /> Common Board Problems | Sharpened Focus

Board members, like all of us, live very busy lives. This affects their time investment, communication habits, and meeting participation. A full-time CEO will spend 2500-3,000 hours on the organization per year. It’s not uncommon for a board member to spend only 25 hours a year. That’s 1/100th the time. Yet, it’s the board who has legal responsibility for the corporation. At Sharpened Focus, we can help you get your board engaged.

Some board members contribute very little to the cause. This drives CEOs to want to add to the board. But, merely adding numbers will not change much if you’re not also changing the quality of service. We help boards understand how to engage their members in meaningful service.

We often hear complaints about poorly-run meetings, meetings that are a waste of time, and board members who are unprepared. Remember, though: board members don’t want to attend because they “have to;” they want their service to count for something meaningful. We help boards to develop meetings that are focused and impactful.

Board members are human. Just as there is no perfect board, there are no perfect board members. Board members may exhibit bad behavior: gossip, indiscretion, power plays, and so on. We help boards to know how to function at a higher level, and how the members can keep each other accountable. This is important, because boards have to be self-monitoring to be effective.

For a board to be effective it must have a high quality of leadership. The quality of the Board Chair is vital. Also, the CEO must coach the board to a higher level of performance. This is tricky, considering that the board is the CEO’s “boss” (even if the CEO is the founder of the organization!). We’re experienced at helping boards develop better leadership and to navigate the thorny relationship between CEO and board.