Top trustee takeaways

Updated: Nov 15

Getting on Board's Festival of Trusteeship 2021 was full of essential wisdom for trustees



The Festival of Trusteeship was stuffed with useful tips and a-ha! moments for trustees and aspiring trustees. We've rounded up a few of our favourites to share with you here.


8 ways to correct an imbalance of power on your board of trustees
  1. Those who are already on boards have more power than those who don’t. So power sharing is bringing people on boards who aren’t currently there.

  2. Use your position: reflect on the imbalance and acknowledge it.

  3. Don’t create a differential between the value of lived experience and learned experience. They’re not binary.

  4. Check who holds the balance of power. Two tier boards are toxic!

  5. Conduct board evaluations to see how the dynamic and culture is working.

  6. The chair should make sure that the quieter voices are being brought to the fore.

  7. Who speaks first has a big impact on the direction of the debate. Make sure it’s not always the same people.

  8. For those experiencing a deficit of power, draw your confidence from your passion for the mission – it’s your yard, own it!

11 ways trustees can support their CEO
  1. Be an ambassador for the charity - that’s invaluable.

  2. Be committed. Hold the beneficiaries of the charity in mind.

  3. Open your networks. You don’t have to be rich to be generous.

  4. Don’t micromanage your CEO!

  5. Be a strategic thought partner.

  6. Know the difference between governance, strategy and operations.

  7. Make time to have in-person conversations with your CEO – as them what they need from you.

  8. As a chair you have a responsibility to indicate to the other trustees how and where they can help the CEO.

  9. If you need to challenge, take it offline (Side note, a good challenge phrase is: ‘Do you think we’re on track for …’).

  10. Roll your sleeves up and get stuck in.

  11. Be a sponge, learn as much as you can!


The above power tips came from the panel discussion Generating discussion: power sharing and participation on boards an illuminating discussion which threw up myriad thoughts and opinions, some of which didn't always see eye to eye!


The CEO support tips came from panel discussion CEO and Board - the critical relationship and what it means for you.


Both these discussions, along with all 24 Festival of Trusteeship 2021 sessions are available to buy as a box set download for £20 until 1st Dec 2021.



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