by Maria Lahiffe
You have a robust board renewal policy, which means you now have new blood on your board. Congratulations! Now you need to give these new directors the knowledge and skills to lead effectively.
Board Orientation is a process of helping new board members understand the particular context of your organization and its board. Here are some things new directors should know as a result of orientation: 
Orientation should take at least three forms:
A lot of the information listed above can be provided in written form for later reference. This can be on paper or online. Here is a list of basic information which should be included in a board director’s manual:  
Decide how you want to organize the orientation. It may be best to break it up into small sessions which happen before regular board meetings. Other organizations invite new board members to a special session just for new members. Still others incorporate orientation to an annual full-board retreat and strategic planning session.
Some other good things to include in an orientation session include: 
The initial orientation is an important introduction to the organization and its workings. However, to set up your board members for optimal contribution, make sure you support them throughout their first year or two with the organization. One way to accomplish this is to assign each new board member with a more experienced “board buddy” to whom they can turn for questions and advice.
Governance is a complex skill which takes time to learn and a lifetime to master. Volunteer Ottawa offers workshops, both for individuals and also custom sessions for boards, to help leaders develop the skills they need to lead their organizations effectively. Click here for more information, and to register. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
Like what you've read? Subscribe to our RSS feed so you never miss a post! We have a general RSS Feed for all VOices blog posts, as well as a Board Governance RSS Feed, which will focus on topics related to governance.
Related blog posts: