After hiring Kellen in 2001, an association client made up of professionals in the technology industry, underwent dramatic growth. Budgets, meetings attendance and membership grew by over 30%. By 2005, leaders and staff questioned whether the current governance structure – the Board of Directors, Committees and Regions – was still relevant to meet the association’s needs, and began a process of a governance evaluation.
The document and process review included an in-depth evaluation of committee descriptions, makeup and terms, leadership development programs, member knowledge of volunteer opportunities, and leader position relevance in the current association landscape. The findings were grouped into six areas: General Governance, Board Process, Board Structure, Organizational Processes, Strategically Focused and Relationship with Staff. Kellen’s recommendations laid out a clear roadmap for making the organization’s leadership more relevant to member needs and the future direction of the association.
Following the evaluation, Kellen integrated the recommendations into a strategic planning process. One of the first strategic goals tackled was re-structuring the Board of Directors. Using data collected from the evaluation, both current and soon-to-be Board members came together to recommend a new Board structure that was more flexible and strategic.
Today, the association’s Board of Directors is one-third smaller than it was six years ago. There are clearly defined expectations for everyone working in the governance of the association and a clear leadership pipeline, including the continued recruitment and engagement of volunteer leaders. The new structure enables the Board of Directors to operate in a more strategic environment, anticipating their member needs and developing value-adding programs before their competitors.