A 360 Degree View from the Board: Part 4 – The Board Professional

StreamLink Software and BoardSource are teaming up to present a multi-part blog series entitled a 360 Degree View from the Board.

Introduction

“Some aspects of board service are constant. Each player in the boardroom, whether it’s the board chair, board member, or chief executive, has a role to fulfill and a set of expectations to meet. Other aspects change with the times. Committee structures change, processes are refined, and strategic plans help both board and staff members refocus organizational direction and work toward greater impact. In recent years, the rise of smartphones and other technology have created a culture accustomed to having any and all data within reach at all times. Have these technological developments changed the way that nonprofit boards interact during and between meetings? Are boards doing all they can to use technological tools to maximize efficiency and focus on exceptional governance?”

Danielle M. Henry

Communications Coordinator, BoardSource

Part Four: A View from a Board Professional

The following questions were presented to board professional, and CEO of Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU) Brian Broadbent.

What’s the biggest challenge in your role as it relates to the board?

The biggest challenge is maintaining quality board engagement. I participate in large boards and we need to find a niche for everyone so that they feel valued, and so that we maximize their available contribution to the organization. On two of my boards we recently merged so the board is large.

In what area do you see the most need for process improvement?

Process improvement is most needed in the area of HR/Leadership Development and personnel management. We surveyed Executive Directors at United Way agencies and learned this was their number one priority. At BVU many of our consults are focused in this direction.

How has technology evolved during the course of your board-related involvement? 

Social media usage has grown steadily. At the City Mission we use it extensively. The same holds true for BVU. In addition, most of the nonprofits I deal with have made website upgrades and database upgrades. All are pretty tech savvy.

Looking ahead to the future, what board management issues would you like to see technology solve?

I think of technology primarily leveraging operations, and the board as being outside of operations. Technology can help facilitate the board’s need for knowledge and feedback, as well as enhance communication. The speed of communication is certainly improved.

Image Source: Keith Ellison 

About Brian Broadbent

Brian is the CEO of Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU). He serves on several boards including in the capacity of President of The City Mission board and as Governance Chair for Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

Read the Other Interviews in the Series:

Part 1 – A View from a Board Chair

Part 2 – A View from a Board Liaison

Part 3 – A View from a Board Member

Learn strategies to better engage your board in our free ebook, Maximizing Board Engagement and Effectiveness.