Recruiting board members is a big enough challenge even when all things are equal. During a pandemic, it’s exponentially more challenging. If that weren’t enough, you can layer in all the equity and diversity considerations that keep nipping at the heels of performing arts orgs that they’ve been politely eyeing, but avoiding, for years.
But I genuinely do believe this is a best of times scenario.
Control and power sharing have always been among the tallest hurdles for established boards to get over and the reality, no matter how sobering it seems, is extreme pressures also serve as wonderful motivation for jettisoning long held conventions.
Joe Patti published some thoughts on this very topic, which in turn were inspired by some sharp thinking from BoardSource’s Jim Taylor. Find time to fit it into your weekly reading list.
Jim Taylor, BoardSource’s vice president of leadership initiatives and education, wrote about his experiences being recruited for board membership where he felt his only qualification was being a person of color because the board member couldn’t answer a simple question: “what value do I specifically bring to the organization?”