As we have discussed in several past posts, the board has committed to improvement in five areas of focus this year. We have promised to:
- Improve accessibility.
- Hear from members.
- Communicate more.
- Increase accountability.
- Evaluate the organization’s structure and activities.
We’d like to share some of the steps we’ve taken in these areas with our members and with the general public.
This week, we’re going to look further at our successes and our next steps to Evaluate the organization’s structure and activities, in particular the documentation and board member onboarding.
What we’ve accomplished
Board handbook: In the early days of the organization, day-to-day information was passed on to new board members in an ad hoc fashion. While individual files and documents have been stored in shared locations, there was no central location for all the essential, day-to-day board information (such as contact information, passwords, policies and processes, and other basic board member documentation). We’ve now created a working copy of a new board handbook to put all this knowledge in a single, central location, which contains enough necessary information for new and existing board members to have a more successful start.
Documentation: While individuals and groups have passed on knowledge and information to those who come after them in committees and in board work, in the past this sharing of knowledge has been dependent on individuals’ will and ability to pass it forward. Similar to the board handbook, we have systematically begun to document best practices, policies, and other documents to help keep “institutional knowledge” more available for future board members and others who serve on 107IST committees.
Onboarding of new board members: In the past, there has been no formal “onboarding” process for new board members. We have developed a checklist for onboarding new board members to ensure all the correct accesses are granted on day one, setting up meetings with the president to answer questions during the first few weeks, sharing the handbook, and communicating ahead of time what is coming up and what to expect further down the road.
We will continue to add to both the handbook and the documentation of organizational best practices this year, as well as refine the onboarding process for future board members.