There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’. Whether you’re on an association board or committee, you work together as a team. A great deal of cooperation goes into working together as a team. One player can’t play a full game of soccer all by themselves. The same can be said for a committee or board of directors.
Delegation is a key component in a board or committee’s success. However, the actual act of delegation can be a challenge in itself. How do you choose the right person for each task?
Divvy Up The Work
When meeting with your committee, fellow board members, or collaborators of any type, start by going over all the tasks that need to be done to achieve your goal. Don’t leave anything out, including ongoing tasks. It helps to keep a list or spreadsheet so you can track everything. Once your team has outlined all the work that is in store, it’s time to decide how the work will be divided.
Determine each person’s strengths and skillsets. Delegate tasks like preparing financial reports to individuals who are proficient in accounting or finance. Someone who is a gifted writer should be the one to generate content to be communicated to association members. Factor in each person’s connections as well. For example, if booking a venue is on the task-list, is there anyone in the group that knows any venue owners or salespeople? An ideally diverse board or committee have connections in many communities.
Keep in mind that most board or committee members are volunteering their time. What responsibilities have they already taken on for the association? Will they be able to find a healthy balance between their professional and volunteer work with these added responsibilities? If the answer is no, maybe the committee needs more members that can lend a hand.
Work Together Where Possible
Discuss the task list and determine what responsibilities can be shared. Sometimes, two heads are better than one; collaboration can lead to great things. When selecting members for a subcommittee, for example, consider who has worked well together in the past. Put more experienced people and less experienced people on a team together to create great learning opportunities.
Having a diverse board or committee will provide a diverse array of solutions to any problem. For more on the benefits of diversity on an association board, read A Diverse Board is Good For a Diverse Association.
Don’t Be Afraid to Revisit
Once the work is divided up, responsibilities shouldn’t be set in stone. Work can get hectic, so all members of the board or committee should stay flexible. When emergencies come up in one member’s personal or professional life, other members should be able to help pick up slack where they can. When this happens, all members should be notified and encouraged to pitch in if possible. When a healthy committee can depend on one another, they are more likely to volunteer and lend a helping hand whenever they can.
Being a part of a healthy team makes people happy, and when they are happy, people work well together. Success will come that much more easily when your board or committee are delegation and collaboration pros.
For more on team building, read Building Trust Virtually at the Board Level.