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~by Steve Yoder, Community Development Regional Educator, Purdue Extension
I can’t resist a good presentation graphic. Whenever I find an illustration that nicely captures a thought, theme, or theory, I’m all over it. Of all the graphics that I use within Purdue Extension, this one is near the top of my list:
The Board Development Cycle is a terrific way to help a board, committee, or other community organization understand the steps needed to build an effective team of leaders. The graphic illustrates how boards undergo a continual cycle of recruitment, engagement, and renewal of membership. The most effective boards are aware of the importance of each of these steps and pay attention to them throughout the year. Less effective boards, on the other hand, may not fully understand what these steps are and often skip through, or completely ignore, some of them. Starting at the top of the image, and rotating though the cycle, the eight steps are:
Throughout this cycle, make sure to celebrate the successes of the organization. Whether it’s in welcoming new members or acknowledging the legacy of those who are leaving, celebrations help keep the cycle going.
Over the years, I’ve shown this graphic to hundreds of Hoosiers who’ve taken part in Purdue Extension’s Community Leadership program. Each time this slide flashes on the screen, I also see figurative lightbulbs going off throughout the room. For some participants, it’s an eye-opener. People will comment that they’ve served on boards throughout their career and had never really thought about board service in this way—as a developmental process with identifiable steps that can make or break an organization’s effectiveness.