In Part 1 of our Board Orientation series, we focused on establishing goals and defining success when setting up an association board of directors’ orientation.
The next step in the process is to decide how to structure the orientation. There are dozens of ways to format it and many decisions to be made.
What is the orientation plan?
- Will it be a retreat or a meeting?
- Does it need to be done remotely?
- Are you using a facilitator?
- Will it last a few hours, an entire day, or longer?
- Will it occur over multiple sessions or in a single sitting?
- Who should attend?
- If current board members attend (as a refresher), will they lead part of the orientation?
- Will there be an opportunity to introduce the staff?
Tip: Decide in advance if you’re going to have room on the agenda to dig into substantive conversations.
Surviving and thriving during board orientation can be (almost) painless. Use the best practices outlined The Field Guide to Board Orientation.
It includes templates and details on:
- Defining goals and mapping the process
- How to structure the orientation
- Preparing attendees for maximum payoff
- Components of a robust board book
- What to include in a post-orientation debriefing
The key to a successful orientation process is to make sure board members are ready to contribute on day one.