How to Ruin a Nonprofit Board Meeting in Five Steps

Philip Manzano • Nov 03, 2016

Too much is getting done in your board meetings. People are working together too well. It’s time to take action! The post How to Ruin a Nonprofit Board Meeting in Five Steps appeared first on Keela.

You sit on a nonprofit board and you’ve taken it upon yourself to singlehandedly stunt all productivity in your board meetings. It’s a great feat, so you’ll need a few pointers to get started. We’ve got you covered:

1. Don’t read the agenda

Life is boring when you know exactly what to expect. Keep some unpredictability in the board meetings. Instead of reading the agenda, I recommend that you play Pacman.

2. Don’t read the information package sent ahead of time

A whole PACKAGE of information?! You do not have the time for this. Your precious time is far more valuable than anything that could be inside that information package. You volunteer for this board – they can’t expect you to actually put in real effort. Always remember that your time is more valuable than their time. You’ve got to look out for #1.

3. Dominate the conversation

You are a smart individual. You have great experience and everyone should know your opinions on what’s happening. You are best suited to address any issue that may come up in the board meeting so everyone else should simply listen. It will help them do their jobs more effectively. If anyone tries to cut you off make sure you come right back and cut them off! It is especially timely to cut someone off if it appears an action item is about to come up. 

4. Change topics when you see fit

You’re starting to get bored so it’s time to change the topic. You’ve got a partnership that you’re really trying to promote and now seems like a great time to bring it up. Try and have a few topics of personal-agenda ready to go before the meeting. You can prepare those in the time you saved not reading the information package. The more off topic the better.

5. Bring up issues that have already been settled

Your board recently overcame a major issue. A decision was made and they’ve moved on. All parties seem satisfied with the decision and are happy to move on in a productive way to get the organization past this hurdle. You disagree. You prefer to reopen the wound and get the last say on this topic. Drag your board backwards whenever possible, and try to stir up some conflict if you can!

There you have it! Everything you need to ensure unproductivity in your board. Do you have any other effective ways to stunt board room productivity? We’d love to hear them below!

Now, if for some crazy reason you’d like to actually improve the productivity of your board meetings, we encourage all members to do the opposite of what you see above.  That means that you are mentally prepared for every board meeting you enter, you know what’s on topic and have done your research. You have points ready for any potential problems you foresee in the topics at hand — and have some great ideas on how to overcome them. You listen attentively to everyone in the room and pay respect to the chair of the meeting. You always make sure to stay on topic and to leave the past in the past unless reflecting on lessons learned that can help benefit a current issue. 

If you are running the board meeting you can check out these resources to get you started:



Good luck!

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The post How to Ruin a Nonprofit Board Meeting in Five Steps appeared first on Keela.