By Bob Harris, CAE
|“You don’t want to lose a quorum.”|
Terms limits are described in the bylaws. Consider relaxing the term limits during an emergency to allow willing directors to extend their service.
The process for nominations and elections have been interrupted by cancelled conferences. Without a slate of nominees, ask directors scheduled to roll-off the board if they would serve another year, or until an election and replacement can be found. You don’t want to lose a quorum.
“For continuity during this situation, it would be OK to maintain the existing leadership team, depending on their effectiveness. Extending terms could be an option if the board has missing directors,” said Bill Pawlucy, CAE, founder at Association Resources.
Enlist Past Presidents
They can be asked to listen in and advise the board (sometimes called a “rusty trustee”.) Leaders with experience may be willing to accept an appointment to fill a vacant seat.
This may be the time to tap desired future leaders. Most organizations know who their influencers are that would be beneficial to add to the board. Turn to the association’s emerging leaders and young professionals. Be sure to enlist a board reflective of its membership.
Galvanize the Team
She said this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Her team quickly mobilized to help members get through the challenges. This is a chance to make lasting association improvements and be indispensable to the membership.
For efficiency, reduce the agenda, foregoing the usual reports and updates, to focus on urgent issues. A 30-minute on-line meeting may have better results than a 2-hour call where members are distracted or drop off.
Be sure the board has empowered the executive committee to act as needed and in accordance with bylaws. Authorize the association’s CEO to make decisions within their purview without micromanagement and second-guessing by the board.
Check with legal counsel before waiving bylaws. Be certain to document the rationale for such actions to maintain transparency with the membership.
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