February - Club Victoria Inc.
What Does Being a Board SavvyClub Manager Mean to You?By Steven Bowman• Does it mean understanding what the Board requires fromyou and your staff?• Is it about providing information to the Board in a manneryou know they can receive?• Is it about how to keep the Board strategic and out of yourback pocket?• Is it about navigating the unknown personal agendas ofBoard members so you keep your job?• Is it all of these and many more?Below are the eight attributes of a Board Savvy Club Managerthat we have found to make a difference. Are there any ofthese areas you may need to tighten up?1. A deep understanding of the roles and responsibilities of theBoard. A Board Savvy Club Manager will steer the Board toensure that all responsibilities of the Board are carried out.You need to be up to date with the latest Governance andstrategic thinking techniques, constantly review the workof the Board to ensure that the Board is truly adding value,and work very closely with the Club President and the Boardmembers to keep focused on all the responsibilities of the Board.Subscribing to relevant professional governance organizations,reading extensively and participating in governance forums allcontribute to a Board Savvy Club Manager.2. Awareness of the skills and aspirations of each Board member.A Board Savvy Club Manager will be aware of the skills ofeach of the Board members, both formal (education, workrelated etc) and their informal, personal skills. Often Boardmembers have untapped skill sets, and the Board Savvy ClubManager will understand and make use of these. Each Boardmember will have different aspirations regarding their term asa Board member, and the Board Savvy Club Manager will havediscussions with each Board member regarding these aspirationsand work with the Chair to meet or to manage these aspirations.3. Strong working relationship with the Club President. A BoardSavvy Club Manager will forge a strong, robust relationshipwith each Chair of the Board. Before the Chair formally takestheir position, have a discussion about how it would best workfor both of you. The Board Savvy Club Manager will facilitatethe Chair to perceive the responsibilities and possibilities ofthe Chair position, and will create a clear set of expectationsbetween the CEO and Chair position. The Board Savvy ClubManager will brief the President on any potential surprises andissues in the Board agenda of each Board meeting, prior to themeeting, and work with the President to develop processes forBoard and Club Manager succession planning, performancemanagement, and evaluation. Click here for a more detailedarticle on how the Club President and Club Manager can worktogether productively.4. A conscious working relationship with the Board. A BoardSavvy Club Manager will develop a strong working relationshipwith the Board as a collective entity. This means have robustperformance evaluation measures in place, both for the ClubManager and the Board, continually refining the informationthat the Board receives and monitoring if that informationis providing what the Board needs, and developing relevantmechanisms to show that the Board can trust the Club Manager,as that trust is constantly tested and independently verified.5. Strong performance management system in place for themselves.A Board Savvy Club Manager will ensure that there is a robustperformance management system in place for themselves, andwill continuously monitor the perception of the Board regardingachievement against these performance measures.6. Champion of Board evaluation. A Board Savvy Club Managerwill champion the notion of regular Board performanceevaluation. This performance evaluation will ensure that theBoard reinvigorates itself when required, that successionplanning is more formal, taking into account changing needs ofthe organization, and will further increase the professionalismand value of the Board.7. Ensuring that Board professional development meets the needsof the Board. A Board Savvy Club Manager will develop aregular Board professional development program that meetsthe aspirations and needs of the Board members individuallyand collectively. Develop guest speaker sessions to supportthe Board. This might include presentations from otherClub Manager‘s of like Clubs, organizations, funding bodies,academics etc.8. Focusing the Board strategically, whilst keeping them aware ofthe operational components. A Board Savvy Club Manager willfocus the Board strategically whilst keeping them informed ofthe key operational aspects of the organization. Reports to theBoard will provide strategic options, not the answer. Strategicquestions will be posed by the Club Manager, not the ClubManager trying to ramrod a decision through the Board. TheBoard Savvy Club Manager will create a culture of strategicawareness within the Board, not rubber-stamping. cCSteve Bowman is a specialist in helping Boards maximise theirpotential and can help clubs improve their governance processes.Steve can be contacted on 95099529 oremail firstname.lastname@example.org or check out hiscomprehensive website www.conscious-governance.com6 CLUBConnect February 2012
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