'Twas the Night of the Board Meeting
A Governance Tale - 3.0
'Twas the night of the board meeting, when all ‘round the table
Not a person was acting, because they weren’t able;
Board packets were placed on the table with care,
In hopes that a quorum soon would be there;
Board members were nestled all snug in their chairs;
Chatting families and trips, just showing they cared.
The board in its seats, the ED on her cell
Had just started calling to see “what the %*$#* ??!!”
When in through the door came a board member greeting everyone cheerfully with, “Let’s start this meeting!”
Away to the packet, the board chair, he ran
Called the meeting to order, it finally began.
The agenda so clear, so complete with the times
Was already off track, way past the dime,
When, what to the ED’s dismay should be said
But, “Let’s change this, move that, and add more, instead.”
New agenda in place, the board began meeting
Asking question on question (that had been in the reading)
Faster and louder, the questions they came
The board chair, he tried calling on them by name;
“Now, Carver! now, Katherine! now Karl and Sue!*
You must do what the ED needs you to do!
To the end of the item! For a motion, we call!
Now vote away! Vote away! Vote away all!”
As if by magic, the motion did pass,
With amendments and changes, but finally, at last!
To the next item, the board it did go
With positions and attitudes securely in tow.
And then, as the ED began to talk money
Some members got up, they were acting quite funny
“We are not fundraisers,” some said in a huff
“That’s the job of the staff, we don’t do that stuff!”
The ED stood firm and the chair stood in place
His voice was quite shaky as he stated his case
“It’s time that we move to the next Life Stage
With more systems and sharing of power, the rage.”
His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His words flowed like water, this was so very daring!
“We’ll add to the board, we’ll add to the staff
We’ll set goals and raise money, on the people’s behalf!”
The ED chimed in, “It won’t be so hard
Just give me the list for your holiday cards
We’ll send them a letter, signed by me and by you
If you ask them to help, what else can they do?”
This idea, they knew, came right off the shelf,
But the board smiled and nodded in spite of itself;
With a wink of her eye and a twist of her head
The ED had showed there was nothing to dread.
The meeting adjourned and the board members split
Still smiling (yet plotting how soon they could quit)
The chair and ED stayed ‘till all left their sight,
“Growth Stage to all; and Start-Up, good-night!”
*See governance models by John Carver, Katherine Tyler-Scott, Karl Mathiasen and Susan Kenny Stevens
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