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Chorus and Board Self-reflection or Visioning tools

Good morning,
I have recently become Conductor of a community chorus which has over a 40-year history--the 40 past years being under the same director.  It has a functioning board of directors.  They like me, but of course, there are some things that they would like me to do differently, and have already provided me with a "performance review."  I think after 40 years, that it would be helpful for the board, with some input from the entire chorus, to go through a self-reflection and visioning process.  It would be helpful for them to take a more objective look at their roles and functioning as an organization, apart from the Conductor/Director, especially since now they have experienced a fall season without their longtime director.  Does anyone have any tools that they have created or know of (Does Chorus America or ACDA have any resources on this topic?) such as a reflection questionnaire that may be given either to each chorus member or each member of the board, so that, as opposed to everyone saying what someone else should do better ;) each person is directed to look at their own responsibilities and assess themselves and their performance?  I know some churches who have gone through "transitional processes" after a longtime pastor and they did something of this sort.  There ought to be resources available for choirs. Thanks, Heidi
on December 23, 2015 8:59am
Hi Heidi:
Spent about half of my career in the nonprofit sector in various capacities (volunteer, grant proposal writer, executive director, director of development, board member), and can offer some tips, advice, and information that would be specifically geared to your current needs, but it would help me to learn a bit more about your situation in order to determine what might be the most helpful to you.  So, a few questions:
  1. To your knowledge, has your board of directors ever conducted a self assessment?  (If "no," you may need to tread very slowly and carefully.)
  2. Have you ever worked with a community-based nonprofit board before?
  3. How many board members at present?  How many men; how many women?  Younger, older?
  4. How long have you held your position?  How long had you been in your position before they conducted your first performance review?
  5. Did you ever have a chance to talk with the previous director about his or her relationship with the board, how decisions got made, how things got done?
In the meantime, here are some general resources that might be helpful to you (and others):
"Boards, Measure Thyselves!":
“How important is board assessment?”:

“Is Your Board Ready for Self Assessment?”:

“Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices”:

"Why conduct a board self assessment?”:

“Self Assessments for Nonprofit Boards”:

One board assessment tool:

Another nonprofit self assessment tool (contains board assessment info.):

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