Kelli Cicirelli

Want to build a great board of directors? Share!

By Kelli Cicirelli

Sharing your knowledge, tools and skills with a new board member is a key part of creating—or maintaining—a great team.

ROC-NH recently added a few new team members, each bringing fresh perspectives and new energy. Seeing them, I’m reminded of my first days on the job here.

In any new position, it makes all the difference in the world when people make you feel welcome, fill you in on current issues, provide tools and information, and generally show you the ropes of how their team works.

bf_training.jpgIn that sense, on-boarding new employees here is not much different from bringing new members onto your co-op’s board of directors. Both require intentional, thoughtful, outreach from those already serving.

Here are three ways you can ease your transitions:

Provide background. New board members want to make immediate contributions to the team, but how can they be expected to when they don’t have the big picture? Veteran board members should provide a short history of the co-op, discuss the board’s function, and talk about how your board works best together.

Provide tools. Make sure new board members have copies of all the documents that govern your co-op, including bylaws, community rules, loan agreements, and any policies created by the board. Including copies of board meeting minutes from the last six months will help the new board member understand current issues and discussions, and give them insight into how decisions are made. In addition, make sure they register on for access to the online Management Guide and tons of information on all things ROC.

Sharpen skills together. Shared knowledge is a key to a high-functioning board. Add a short training or skill-building segment to your monthly board meeting. Topics might include using the bylaws for problem solving, the five financial things every board member should know, or legal and regulatory compliance. Your ROC-NH representative will have plenty more ideas.

When experienced board members take the time to share and transfer their leadership to new members, great teams are created. And great board teams create foundations for strong, vibrant, ROCs.

Kelli Cicirelli is a ROC-NH Senior Organizational Trainer.

ROC-NH™ is a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Inc. and a ROC USA® Certified Technical Assistance Provider.
ROC-NH is a registered service mark of ROC USA, LLC.