Your Board’s Goals Are Not Your CEO’s Goals
Before we dive into how to set your board’s goals, let’s get clear about what board goals even are. The best place to start is to acknowledge that your board’s goals will differ from your CEO’s goals.
Combined, they’ll help strengthen your board-CEO partnership and help your governance team to meet the organization’s goals.
Board goals clearly articulate how the board will add value to the organization. Each of the board’s goals should be owned by a specific committee. And, when rolled up altogether, those committee goals make up the board’s overall goals.
Meanwhile, the CEO’s goals articulate what the CEO is expected to deliver each year. They focus on organizational performance metrics and often tie directly to your charter, your accountability plan with your authorizer, and your annual CEO evaluation. For example, teacher hiring, satisfaction, retention; parent satisfaction; or test scores.
Your Board Should Have Aspirational and Operational Goals
Board goals can –and should — be both operational and aspirational.
Operational goals are the core annual tasks that tie to your charter agreement.
These are the things you need to get done each year to have a functioning organization — fiscal oversight, hiring and evaluating teachers, for example.
Aspirational goals are short- and long-term reach goals.
They’re goals you’ll work towards upon completing an operational objective. In short, they’re how you will change the world.
You should strive to focus on your aspirational goals once the operational objectives become routine. These may seem very ambitious, even insurmountable, to a brand-new organization and its founding board.
But, you can intentionally strive to make the operational items routine so that they are no longer “goals,” but expectations…and you free up some mental bandwidth for the aspirational.