The Board

A Challenge to Serve

How does a board of trustees best serve a cultural institution? There are hundreds of how-to books that tell boards everything they need to do to run their institutions more effectively. These books give detailed prescriptions for effective fundraising, hiring and monitoring the executive, financial oversight, risk management and policy oversight – the traditional purview of the board. These books also deal with the make-up of the board – how many members, how many of those members should be lawyers, and on and on. With all of these books and all of their advice, you’d think that by now few boards would need organizational help. But in our work – and we’ve worked with hundreds of boards over the years – we continue to find organizations that have serious, ongoing problems. The traditional advice and how-tos haven’t worked.