Competency, diversity, and distinct skills matter more than ever when determining who will serve on an association’s board.
No two organizations approach board selection in quite the same way.
But broader trends around the process are changing what exactly a good board selection process looks like—and it’s focused less on who you know and more on the knowledge and skill a board member can bring to the table, as well as the competencies your board already has.
With that in mind, here are some pieces from the Associations Now archives that highlight recent trends in the board selection process:
The Evolution of Board Selection. This story from our recent Lead2021 report highlights the shift in board selection away from a secretive process and toward an approach that reflects the need for diversity and leadership competency. “We are finally advancing beyond looking in the rearview mirror of who we are, to looking in the front windshield of what we want to be,” says Mark Engle, FASAE, CAE, principal at Association Management Center.
Executives & Board Nominations: A Delicate Dance. This 2020 magazine piece highlighting ASAE Research Foundation findings on board selection makes the case for association executives to offer input during the selection process—while knowing when to hold back. “You would be overstepping your bounds if you were telling the committee to nominate or to not nominate an individual for your own personal reasons,” says Vicki Loise, CAE, CEO of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening.
Defining Board Competencies. A common element in board selection involves finding members who have specific competencies. This 2018 resource breaks down five key kinds of board competencies—group skills, interpersonal skills, personal leadership skills, technical skills, and personal attributes—as well as how they can come together to build a qualified board.
Effective Board Performance Starts With the Right People. In this piece, Emily Rabbitt, CAE, explains how nominating committees and competency-based board selections can work together. “Changing to a competency-based board recruitment and selection model may be a significant shift for some organizations, but many leaders have found the effort worthwhile,” she writes.
Practical Steps Toward More Diverse Boards. This piece, also from our recent Lead2021 report, discusses the considerations associations should have around diversity when planning board selection strategies. “The most effective way to approach board diversity is to acknowledge that it takes time. It is a continuous journey and has to mirror the evolution of our communities,” says Samira Salem, Ph.D., vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Credit Union National Association.