Make Progress on a Board Goal in 5 Minutes

Julia Koch, Director of Development & Advocacy, at The Hope Project, Muskegon, MI, recently asked, “Do you have any suggestions for 5-minute training that can be done during board meetings to help the board members get to know each other better and also become more engaged board members?”

I define training as an experience where someone teaches others to gain competencies, skills, or knowledge. Creating them in 5 minute period is a tall order.

But here is on.

Creating a 5-minute training for 2 goals (i.e., knowing each other better and becoming more engaged) is cloud-level ambitious. While it is possible,  I recommend  you set a smaller goal, such as: to help your board member’s understand each others thoughts about an issue.

A 5 Minute Nonprofit Board Exercise

Ask your members to:
1. Stand up.
2. Find someone you don’t know well (Define “know well” when they protest they know everyone. They don’t.)
3. Share their beliefs, concerns or why they are excited about one topic on the agenda, for 2 minutes each.
4. After 4 minutes, ask them to sit and share what they learned with the group for 1 minute.
5. Take notes on a whiteboard or large pad.  Note commonalities and segue into the agenda item you discussed.

Regular one-on-one interactions like these build relationships between board members, create more thoughtful discussions and support board engagement long term.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely at the Top

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