There was so much distrust around the table – the parents of the residents felt like they were getting kicked out, the founder felt like his concerns weren’t being listened to and the donors had no idea what was going on! And unfortunately, the organization closed less than five years later.
Think of how differently things may have turned out if this board had taken the time to build relationships with each other – and with their stakeholders. I believe one of the most essential ingredients for an organization to raise significant dollars – and engage their boards in the process too – is trust.
It takes time though – and it takes an understanding of how teams operate. And when you’re only meeting once a month – or once a quarter – it can be tough to do. So while I definitely encourage you to study team building, here are a few quick ideas to pick from to try at your next board meeting:
1) Invite each of your board members to share what drew them to your organization in the first place. You’ll build comradery as your board members hear the heart behind what is shared.
2) Invite each board member to share ‘two truths and a lie.’ Okay – this one makes me a little uncomfortable because what we really do is get to see how well everyone else lies, but the real point is to find out things you didn’t know about each other. And it’s fun to hear some of the crazy things people make up.
3) Another team building exercise is to have everyone line themselves up based on a particular number – maybe that’s when their birthday is during the year, how long they’ve been involved with the organization or how far they live from where you are meeting. Again, a great way to learn things about each other.
4) Have each person make a ‘personal logo’ for themselves based on what they have in their pockets or bags. Then they get to share about what their ‘logo’ means.
What other ideas do you have? Would love to hear them!