Board Meeting

Mini Case Study: Board Seeks to Complete Stalled Governance Change Process


An Association Board began the process of role clarification for leadership and staff, including updating operational procedures. After almost a year of work, they were unable to conclude the process with consensus on decisions and next steps. That’s where David Kushner Consulting stepped in.


  • This all-volunteer-run organization gradually shifted to hiring of staff, yet volunteers had continued involvement in most operational matters
  • Membership growth precipitated the hiring of a few employees, and eventually up to 30 staff members
  • Operational and governance policies required updating to reflect the changing structure
  • Staff leadership turnover created confusion, lack of clarity about roles, and mistrust
  • New chief staff executive sought closure to governance changes


  • Reviewed internal governance documents, board minutes, operational and employment policies
  • Conducted interviews with senior staff and volunteer leadership to determine respective assessments and goals
  • Facilitated special meeting of the board that included discussions about current situation, expectations and measures of success
  • Prepared summary of discussions with recommended actions to be taken
  • Presented summary at debriefing session of the board, confirmed items of agreement
  • Held separate meeting with officers and chief staff executive regarding role clarification and recommended policy changes


  • Board developed clearer perspective of its roles and those of staff
  • Opened discussions about problems resulting from board involvement in day-to-day operations while serving in volunteer status
  • Presented a plan of actions to be considered by board to conclude change process
  • Previously “hidden” internal conflicts surfaced, and discussion among parties took place in a facilitated setting to assist in resolution of issues
  • Timeline prepared for board actions
  • Internal policies and procedures reviewed and modifications suggested
  • Board voted to adopt changes