Mobilizing Your Nonprofit Board is an online program designed specifically for executives in nonprofit and non-governmental organizations who want to tap into the full array of talent and energy within their boards. Organized around a conceptual framework for overcoming the “micro-governing” that so often leads to low-value, high-maintenance boards, the program will help participants understand how both boards and executives can reframe their work to support more effective and consequential governance. Students should therefore expect to work with tools for analyzing and developing their own leadership.
Building on this conceptual reframing of governance, participants will explore practical strategies and techniques for improving their organizations’ governance. Many board development resources are focused on the technical or legal aspects of governance, aimed at keeping the organization and its board out of harm’s way. Mobilizing Your Nonprofit Board accepts mastery of these competencies as a given, and focuses instead on how to engage a board in ways that will strengthen its organization and improve its strategies. Throughout the course, special emphasis will be given to the distinctive challenges of senior executives in helping their boards perform better, including the ambivalence of executives themselves, who often want greater board engagement but worry about creating intrusive boards that undermine their leadership.
The program represents a unique online learning opportunity for nonprofit and non-governmental organization leaders to interact with colleagues from around the world as well as governance researcher William Ryan of the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard Kennedy School. Mobilizing Your Nonprofit Board is intended for both executives who report directly to a board and other senior executives who deal frequently with boards of directors. This program is not targeted to board members.