While I was waiting for last night’s wonderful lunar eclipse to show us its spectacular ‘blood moon’, I was reading about the religious leaders prophesying that this event, the last in a tetrad of similar events, would be the herald of the endtime. Cheerful stuff at 3am!
By utilising a combination of documentary evidence, quotes and a sprinkling of rather odd beliefs, they are happy to predict the coming of all manner of horrors for us all. But here’s the interesting bit – each predicts a timetable which supports their own particular theory and all would like to take credit for being the first to make the prediction of doom. Nor do they seem to mind that not many others are buying into their forecasts.
So what has all this got to do with Trustee Boards and the non-profits?
The comparison with some Boards with a history of under-performance seems rather marked. The ability to look at what is happening within their organisations is fairly skewed by either outmoded beliefs or lack of skills and, sadly, the example of good practice in other organisations is largely ignored because they've always done it this way and it must be right – right? Definitely not.
All organisations face a landscape of continuous change and must regularly look outside to ensure they can respond effectively to the coming needs of members or those who receive their services. It’s when the blinkers go up that trouble can find a way in. If outside advice is not sought or welcomed, however sensible or appropriate, then the drawbridge has been drawn up and you don’t need to be a visionary to imagine what’s coming next.
Avoiding the doomsday scenario is so simple. Regular and searching reviews of all aspects of the work and structure of the Board and its relationship with the organisation it serves will provide future-proofing and security. No mysticism needed.