A board is the backbone of any association. Its main mission is to set the policies, procedures, and programs for an association. It is also responsible for budgeting and making crucial financial decisions.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for a board to make poor decisions; leaving future board members to deal with the consequences. If your association is in a position where your current board needs to repair the damage inherited from previous board members, these tips will hopefully help.
1. Uphold Your Fiduciary Duty
As a board member, you have an obligation to act in the best interest of the members of your association. Remember that board members trust you and have therefore chosen you to make important decisions regarding the association. Be sure you are always upholding your fiduciary duty, even when times get tough.
2. Keep the Business Judgment Rule in Mind
The business judgment rule is a legal principle that protects you as a board member from personal liability in the event you make decisions that ultimately lead to loss for your association. Make sure you keep the business judgment rule in mind and only make decisions that benefit the majority of your members.
3. Don’t Forget to Research
As soon as you uncover a mistake made by previous board members, take the time to do your research. You can do this by interviewing former board members, working with a management company, or creating special committees designed to alleviate difficult emotions and tension.
4. Evaluate Governing Documentation
Gather all the governing documents left behind by the previous board and review them to find out if decisions were compliant with state, local, and federal laws. Reading through the meeting minutes will also offer perspective on how certain decisions came to be. You don’t have to continue to practice every decision that was made in the past (even if it was legal) and may benefit from consulting an attorney for some guidance.
5. Never Stop Communicating
The power of ongoing communication should not be overlooked. Change can be difficult on many members so it’s essential to always keep your members informed on what’s going on within your association and what they can expect in the future. Be transparent and educate your members as much as possible.
6. Be Positive
Positivity goes a long way. While it may be tempting to criticize previous board members in front of your members, doing so will do more harm than good. Instead, discuss how the changes will have a positive impact on them and the association itself.
Contact Stansfeld, LLC Today
It can be frustrating and difficult to repair damage from previous association members. Stansfeld, LLC helps associations by providing continuity during and after board member transitions. Contact us today for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!