How Do You Define Success? Boards Making a Difference

impact intentional practices strategic planning and policy development Jan 23, 2024
How Do You Define Success? Boards Making a Difference


Why are you on this board? Why? Does the vision and mission resonate and reflect your values? Why you? What skill set, connections, and perspectives do you bring to the table? Why this board? This group of people? At this time? Do you want to make a difference? What will that look like?


How do define success?

For many boards it is simply ensuring an efficient and effective organization. And that is important. But is it enough? Is it why you joined the board? Sometimes this measure of success even seeps into board operations, to be efficient and effective in meetings in the shortest time possible. But again, is it enough?


One of the four core functions of boards in our view is to ensure sustained and sustaining resources such that the agency can achieve its mission. But what is the point of the resources if the mission is not central and largely achievable? Surely, your mission encapsulates some broader social purpose, some direct and lasting impact on and for your community. Perhaps in the shorter term, but certainly over the longer term.

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What is the problem that you are trying to solve? What causes that problem? How do you “peel the onion” to get to the root causes? Now how do you attack those causes? You likely cannot do it on your own, so what is your network, the key partnerships, the crucial alliances? How do you measure and assess moving forward and complementing and not duplicating each other?


Are you serving a need or solving the problem?

Are you becoming more efficient and effective at providing services and programs or ensuring that you are offering the right services and programs in concert with other agencies with an overarching goal of achieving your mission and moving closer to your vision?


What kind of board do you have?
What difference are you making?
Will your impact outlast your tenure on the board?


If your mission is important (and it no doubt is) then you need to be focused on having that impact. Your efficient and effective organization needs to be steered clearly in that direction.


And only you can ensure that this happens.



What are your main “pain points” dealing with community impact?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!

Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.




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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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