Sometimes, even the best boards and seasoned executive directors clash and have trouble staying in their respective “responsibility lanes” as the organization’s leadership team. An excellent example might be when boards get directly involved with selecting and overseeing staff when they have a successful chief staff executive for such purposes. Why might a board involve themselves in what is clearly a management responsibility? Simply. It’s what they are familiar with, despite the fact that it’s a responsibility they can and should delegate.
Certainly, if the working relationship between the board and executive director is noticeably broken, that situation should be addressed as soon as possible. An outside management and governance coach is probably worth bringing in. Even if everything is working smoothly between the board and the executive, an annual refresher can help keep the working relationships strong and the organization running smoothly for the coming year.