#trusteehour (12th June) asked the question: When is it time for a trustee to step down? We always encourage contributions and themes and this time this one was provided by @MairWCVA.
This is a good question in its own right. However, we have discussed in the past the need for many organisations to simply recruit more (of the right) trustees. You don’t want anyone to resign, surely not? Well, they must, but when is the right time? We had many really interesting contributions that took us in a few different directions.
@TrusteeLeaders kicked us off by saying “If you lose your passion for the
#charity, then perhaps that would be a sign it’s time to move on”. I have seen this happen myself – not the passion for the cause but many new board members bought in that upset the dynamics and made me feel incomfortable with the direction of travel. Another example was posted by @talktokeiran who raised the issue of an awful CEO, leading to resignations or members expending huge amounts of time and stress – this Keiran said leads to the problem being untreated. Another example was posted by @ArloAccountancy:
Great question. I stepped down when it became apparent that board wasn’t operating effectively and not making decisions in a timely manner. #trusteehour
— Arlo Accountancy (@ArloAccountancy) June 12, 2018
We then turned to the charity governing documents by considering the kind of length of tenure participants had typically seen as a limit? @TrusteeLeaders responded to suggest that they will be putting into the governing doc a tenure limit. @ian_mcl suggested that 9 years should be the maximum, except in expectional circumstances. Many participating in a poll posted by @weavermiles could find examples of trustees being on the board in excess of 10 years. At least @getonboardCmyru made a joke by saying even if a board recruits a young trustee it’s likely that after 9 years, that they will still be young!
Another suggestion was posed by @ian_mcl who noted the importance of a trustee appraisal. He continued to note that too few do it, but it helps you have conversations that need to occur. This would provide a good opportunity to review relevance and fit between role and the board.
@talktokieran offered some interesting advice to see if the board has had any difficulty with trustees attrition. He suggests to review members under three years to see where the problem might lie (or more specifically with whom?).
Before joining a board, have a look on Companies House, check out the trustee attrition rate. Under 3 years? Who’s the peoblrm. #trusteehour
— Kieran Daly – Social Innovation (@talktokieran) June 12, 2018
@BCharitable suggested ‘Rotation’ provisions might be best for some but not others and added “whatever is used, needs to be informed decision before things are ‘locked in’ & affects board effectiveness in time”.
@Weavermiles started a poll around another suggestion that he saw happen with a board. That being a “three strikes and your out” policy to ensure good attendance. Members are of course allowed to register apologises. @sallyld did ask us all to consider whether attendance at meetings necessarily equate to quality input and good governance. @JoGibney below said that it is a red flag and may well indicate lower input and engagement. I think this might be a good topic in its own right for another time?
From experience I’d say it doesn’t automatically correlate. But non-attendence is a red flag indicating lower input & engagement #TrusteeHour
— Jo Gibney (@JoGibney) June 12, 2018
I think we should end with a why not? Posed by @JoGibney:
I’d love to still be that engaged at 84! #TrusteeHour
— Jo Gibney (@JoGibney) June 12, 2018
The next trusteehour is coming up on Thursday 19th July 8 – 9pm. See you then?
Next #trusteehour is Thurs 19th July 8-9pm hosted by @JulieKHutchison & @Weavermiles looking at the role of charity sub-committees & a new initiative – Committee Pathways – launched on twitter. Could you help others gain experience this way? @Pathways_C https://t.co/xCQ4mtb72h
— #trusteehour (@trusteehour) July 15, 2018