Indecisive board

Your organization benefits greatly from the swift, conclusive decisions of your board. They create policy, clarify direction, and ultimately establish the foundation for forward movement within the organization. But what happens when the board stalls in their decision-making role? How can you help your indecisive board get back on track?

Every board faces moments of indecision or an issue that is difficult to resolve. What is your objective of your not for profit? It is normal for a group of decision-makers to hesitate when facing a risky or challenging situation. It is a chronically indecisive board, however, that can endanger the momentum and progress of the organization they are meant to support.

Boards face indecision for many reasons, from disagreement to lack of clarity or shared concern about the overall mission or purpose of the organization. Understanding the reason behind the indecision will help you make effective choices about how to get your board moving forward once more. Does the board encourage disagreement and conflict resolution? Do they create a space where understanding and clarity are valued? Are they side-tracked by the need for a consensus on every issue?

Once you have identified the reason behind your board’s indecision, use these six tips to help your board gain back their forward momentum:

  1. Make sure board members feel comfortable asking questions to gain clarity on an issue.
  2. Ensure the board has a conflict resolution process in place.
  3. Clarify the impact that indecision has on the organization as a whole.
  4. Emphasize the value of balancing caution with risk.
  5. Help the board understand that movement and decision are more important than unanimous agreement on every topic.
  6. Reiterate the mission and vision of the organization, re-enforcing them as guideposts for board decisions.

When it comes to dealing with an indecisive board, your organization is not alone. Progress requires risk, clarity, and a sense of common purpose. A risky, unclear situation can easily derail a typically decisive board and cause them to halt their overall movement. Taking the time to understand why your board is indecisive and what challenges they are facing will go a long way in helping them get back on track. Not sure why your board is struggling with their decisions? Take some time to walk them through each of the above tips. Ask questions, listen to their concerns, and seek clarity. Decisiveness is sure to follow.

About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott is a seasoned international business consultant who works with clients to help them improve their sales and operations. He has organized, attended and chaired meetings in not-for-profit and for-profit organizations and uses real life examples as part of his presentation.