Whether negative perceptions about your organization are accurate or not, they can get in the way of executing on your mission. In other words, misperceptions can be as damaging to your organization as are accurate, but negative, perceptions. As the old adage goes, perception is reality. As such, misperceptions must be taken seriously and often dealt with in the same way as accurate, negative perceptions.
There are a lot of association management practices and general management theories focused on advancing organizations, but, when it comes down to it, if you want to propel your organization to the next level: dare to dream. This thought was crystalized for me when, going around the room at the end of a board leadership development session I conducted, a board member said the most important thing he heard all day was “dare to dream.” Dream not about what is, but about what’s possible.
You’ve been CEO at the association for a few years, you’re three months into the new term of a chairperson and despite everything you’ve tried you know that you’re not going to be able to develop a true partnership with the new chairperson, who may very well be chair for the next two years.
You’ve been in your post for a number of years. Everything is moving along smoothly. The chairperson and the board understand their roles vis-à-vis your role as CEO. The association has been hitting its strategic and operational goals and incremental progress has made in each of the last few years. During your first few years, major breakthroughs occurred, but recently no revolutionary change or significant innovation has occurred.
If you are considering developing a board orientation program for the first time, it is important to begin with the understanding that a sound board orientation program is more than just an orientation session. If you already conduct a board orientation program and are looking for ways to improve the orientation process, think beyond the orientation session.