Board/Staff Roles

A perennial question is “How do we sort out the roles and responsibilities of board members vs. staff members?”   Who does what to whom? What is solely the board’s pruview, solely the staff, and for what are they jointly responsible?

To assist with solving this dilemma, we have imported a questionnaire to be used in a board/staff session.  But we include this instrument with several suggestions, as well as showing what benefits could accrue from this exercise.

First, the pursuit of answers to the board/staff roles questions should be managed by a facilitator, preferably a third party, neither a board member or staff member.  To explore this further, contact Robert E. Miss

Second, at a session addressing the questionnaire, it’s very fruitful to break the gathering into 2-3 mixed groups of board and staff.  Each group should address the questions, then come back together to review the results.

Third, while many questions have patent answers, there are a number of areas that require interpretation.   Answers where interpretation is required will vary according to the size and type of organization.  A large hospital or university may interpret some questions much differently than a small grass roots advocacy organization.

*Inceased participation and engagement by the board members.
*Staff and board get to know each other, leading to better cooperation.
*Board members attain much more clarity involving not only roles, but also the mission and objectives, leading to stronger commitment.
*A board member or members who tend to micromanage, will be less likely to do so.
*A board member considered to have a toxic effect on the organization may take a more positive role or leave the board.

Below is a link to a questionnaire offered gratis here, which can be used in a  Board & Staff Roles & Responsibilities exercise.


To enquire about an experienced facilitator for the exercise, contact
Robert E. Miss

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