No/low-cost actions of excellence...
1. Board declaration, policy leadership and financial investments dedicated to "learning and development for all," classroom to boardroom [no financial cost, mature discipline required]
2. Constant modeling of excellence by the governing team [no financial cost, just a great mixture of acceptance, mentoring, support, learning, encouragement, focus, and choosing well]
3. Learning from others built into the norms and yearly schedule of worksessions and regular/strategic meetings (learning community leaders, accountability chairs, student projects, area boards/members...appreciative inquiries might include "What values are driving your excellence?" "How have you sustained your excellence?" "What have your learned about doing your best?") [low cost, especially if everyone carries a share]
4. Book/article/issue study, monthly, targeted at the improving the board's work (CASB's Leadership WORKbook is one of many recommendations)....CASB's GreatGoverning blog is filled will conversation starters and links to good reads....CASB's eBriefs and constant website are also assets for conversations and decisions. [barely a financial cost, learning habits needed]
5. Effectiveness debriefs at the conclusion of every other regular/strategic meeting or quarterly, focused around elements of the board's framework of excellence... [no financial cost, new habits required...just ask, we have several simple tools available for tweaking, one is in the WORKbook.]
6. Team-built, unique framework - development, renewal or reconstruction (function/governing vision, mission, goals, norms, values, foundations) [no cost if you do it yourselves, low cost if you have effectiveness staffers help (prep, facilitation, tools, followup, benchmarking progress...]
7. "60-minute advance" worksession conversations preceding regular/strategic board meetings, oh, every-other-month [no financial cost...you could have external assets like your CASB staff participate by phone or in person, also no financial cost]
8. "15-minute phone in's" sprinkled throughout the year at regular/strategic board meetings – again, external assets that align to needs/desires about skill sets, principles, content, emerging challenges... [again no monetary cost]
9. Shared worksessions with neighboring governing teams (on effectiveness, what's working, sharing peer wisdom, conversing with visiting guests...all for next to nothing financially...make sure to build in some pure networking time)
10. "Cafe conversations" with area board leaders for the financial cost of coffee or light meal (all kinds of options to choose from, including by role, by number around a certain table, by years of veteranship, by topic, folks interested in running, candidates, newly elected, newly appointed...could include guests)
11. Meeting audits (in-person or by watching videocast) backed by member participation in an online survey followed by a little CASB staff "distant coaching [no financial cost]
12. Policy audits [no cost and done by your CASB staff...but there is a waiting list[
13. Constant policy leadership [no financial costs, maturity required]
14. Constant ownership of the governing role, system perspective and future focus [no financial cost, maturity required]
15. Self assessments - If the has a focusing framework for governing, this is a piece of cake. If, not we have several good self-assessment tools. If the team wants, we could compile self-assessments for you, analyze and send you back strengths-based but distant coaching. [no cost, commitment to improvement needed]
16. and, oh, so much more!
A BIG factor for advancing any of these choices: Unified commitment. The ugh opposite: Adults who don't own the responsibility of governing well.