Guest blog by @juliekhutchison – reflecting on #trusteehour 3 on ‘What’s the standout positive reason you’d mention as to why someone should make it their resolution for 2018, to become a charity trustee.’ 

Our first #trusteehour for 2018 on 16th January opened with the question: ‘What’s the standout positive reason you’d mention as to why someone should make it their resolution for 2018, to become a charity trustee.’  This thread started early on:

The theme of skills, both new and existing, continued.  It’s clear there is a two-way street – new skills to learn, and your skills to share with others:

Looking at other perspectives, and ‘how to be’ around the board table, this input from @ClaireGibsonEDI points to the value of generous listening:

This is a crucial point worth reflecting on, and might stand in contrast to the ‘day job’ experience where we might operate differently, always in quick solution mode and not necessarily listening in the same way. It brings out that element of deliberation and decision-making (trustee activities) versus execution and doing (more like the day job).

The thread moved on to what new year’s resolution you might make for your contribution to a charity board this year.  @RummleGumption made this this point, set against the backdrop of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018:

And to round things off, this poll was posted by @DavidRobb22 asking ‘Why be a trustee’? 

It’s an interesting debate – to what extent passion for the cause is a main driver for a trustee.  Can too much ‘heart’ and not enough ‘head’ pose a risk for a charity?  The same would be true in reverse, and it seems a healthy tension between these two factors may be an ongoing feature of charity board decision-making:

If we think about recruiting new trustees, what we can take from this #trusteehour is that there are a range of messages which charities might want to consider, in attracting new board members.  There are different drivers, and caring about the cause, being interested in learning new skills, meeting new people, and having a positive impact in your community may all matter, as well as other aspects.  If too much emphasis is placed on trustee duties and responsibilities, and less on these other positive elements which many people feel they get out of the trustee experience, is there an opportunity to re-consider how trustee role vacancies are advertised?

And finally, news of our next #trusteehour on Wednesday 21 February 8-9pm – we might see you in Glasgow!

Blog by Julie Hutchison
Founding Editor of @InformedTrustee

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