The Chair

 

More Than Just A Title

 

Perhaps one of the most undervalued, yet one of the most critical, posts in today’s cultural organization is the Chair of the Board of Trustees1. The Chair2, selected from among his or her fellow trustees, must find effective ways to ensure that the board provides the proper balance of authority and responsibility for the governance of the organization, while sustaining what can sometimes be a precarious partnership between trustees and the organization’s CEO3.

A Chair who does a good job is often invisible; artistic and cultural pursuits take center stage and the organization thrives. Invisible, however, does not mean absent or inactive. On the contrary, at Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc., we have worked with cultural organizations of all kinds, and over the years we have found that among the most successful are those whose Chair is the facilitator of a strong partnership between the trustees and the institution’s CEO. This partnership is so vital to the organization that we see the selection of the Chair as being nearly equal in importance to that of the CEO.