Leadership driving Board and Staff Development

Like the functioning of the human body, there are many different essential parts to the functioning of an organization:  your strategy and strategic plan, work plans, human resource systems and practices, performance management plans, programs, volunteer engagement, public relations, media outreach and let’s not forget—fundraising.

There are so many distinct pieces that coordinate to provide synergy in your organization that a significant part of your work is developing a well-functioning organizational system to manage your systems.  This organizational system ensures that your work is relevant to current internal and external circumstances and that all systems are coordinated and working well.  This is a large shift for some nonprofit organizations to make, because often the human systems of the organization are working very hard to respond to daily need.

When various organizational pieces mentioned above are broken, it sometimes affects other systems and deteriorates system performance.  To sustain truly amazing performance, incredibly well, you must have the totality of those systems working and moving along smoothly at the same time.

The key purpose of a board of directors is to direct an organization’s affairs to meet the legitimate interests of its stakeholders.  To establish the organization’s culture and goals create the vision, mission, and values of the organization. 

  • Vision: A vision is a picture of the future and communicated in a way that motivates others to act.

A vision helps unite people towards a purpose. Possessing a vision means having the ability to create and effectively communicate a picture of the future that builds on a realistic understanding of the present.  A vision inspires!  Boards must advocate and help others to believe it.

  • Mission: is the overall purpose of an organization: what you do, who you do it for, and how and why you do it. It sets boundaries on the organization’s current activities.

A mission is unique to your organization and identifies what problems you solve or needs your fulfill.  Missions clearly define your social or community goals. 

  • Values: Values are the beliefs of an organization, the expression of what it stands for and how it will conduct itself.

Values are the core of an organization’s being, they help to distinguish this organization from others. They underpin policies, objectives, procedures and strategies because they provide an anchor and a reference point for all things that happen.

The successful vision, mission and values statement is created collaboratively and frames what the organization will look like.  Having a clear mission, vision, and values allows for strategy and policy to operate smoothly.

A successful vision, mission and values statement gives framework for the future, guides decision making and strategy, creates purpose, inspires, connects to values and provides guidelines that determine interactions.

As we’ve all had to learn the hard way, each person has a different communication style. Based on the needs of the individual you are conversing with, you must frame your message by considering format, diction, tone, duration, content, etc.  Reshaping a message to fit a specific audience isn’t a quality that comes naturally to everyone though, which is why communication skill training can be so helpful.  Everyone needs boundaries and rules for what is appropriate; in order for others to hear you, you must manage your own emotions so you can communicate from a grounded standpoint.  Many times we are so consumed by interpersonal issues that the real problems at hand are neglected.

Take time to focus your energy and deep commitment into the vision of the organization.  Studies have shown that teams who make use of mental models more frequently interact with one another, are more inspired and optimistic about work, and are more objective.

Creating a Collaborative Board and Staff

Effective board members dedicate time every year to improving their individual board skills and increasing their effectiveness in providing vision, oversight, support, and evaluation for nonprofit organizations.  A cohesive and collaborative board matches your organization’s immediate and strategic needs and is comprised of outstanding people who embrace your organization’s mission and can help you increase its performance and mission impact.

A great way to ignite effective team building is to give your board new opportunities to gain experiences together.  Create a sense of camaraderie among your members by providing ways to bond outside of the typical work environment.  Participate in activities together outside the office, bond with collaboration around your mutual cause during the holidays, have celebratory functions, volunteer together with your common cause –these types of interactions will give board and members the chance to relate, establish friendships, and learn about one another’s communication styles.  These engagements are illuminating and refreshing.  It is important for board and staff members to have quality time together and separately.

Overall it is important to have board members and staff that view the organization as interdependent teams, rather than individual workers.  Organizational development and team building are essential to increase board and staff effectiveness and to achieve strategic goals.  Creating a culture that is results-orientated takes strong leadership, clearly communicated goals and expectations, and a high level of commitment.

The development of a strong board is a valuable challenge that can dramatically increase an organization’s ability to achieve its mission.

 How can we help?

Gap Analysis

Eno River Consulting (ERC) can facilitate an objective assessment of your organization utilizing data from important stakeholder groups to provide a deep background and understanding of the organization with which you work from the internal and external perspective.  We are then able to utilize this data to create a blueprint for your organization to move forward to accomplish its goals in clear, customized and specific ways.   The more deeply we understand the challenges you face and landscape of the environment you work in, the more helpful we can be to you.

Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Development

Eno River Consulting can work with your board and staff on these critical foundational organizational guide posts.  

Executive Recruitment

Do you need new effective leadership for your organization?

Eno River Consulting can help recruit exceptional candidates to provide strong leadership for your organization.

Executive searches can be a time-consuming and stressful task. Our consultants have hired dozens of top leaders and managers and will guide you through the process, sharing their expertise, and assuring you get the right fit for your organization and its needs.

Eno River Consulting will help you identify key roles and responsibilities for the position, assist you in writing or revising your job description, get excellent candidates in the door, and support you during the screening, interviewing, and hiring process.

Succession Planning

How do you pass on institutional knowledge gained over years of running your organization and engaging with your community?

Eno River Consulting can help you identify key areas where your leaders hold invaluable knowledge and information, and develop a plan for “downloading” that knowledge. One piece of this is often pairing your developing leaders with those with the most organizational knowledge along with focused board development. This also requires building effective teams, with members who can step up, creating a culture that thrives, and creating expectations and common understanding about execution.



For more information on any of these services please visit our website:



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