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What Makes An Exceptional Board?

Organizations that drive exceptional results for kids have exceptional boards. We’ve proven it.

But what’s an exceptional board? It can be hard to know for sure. Especially when most boards believe they’re pretty great.

Using data from hundreds of boards around the country, we’ve defined exactly what makes an exceptional board. In short, exceptional boards are built on the five Ps: Priorities, People, Process, Performance, and Progress.

And now, with the OnTrack score, every BoardOnTrack member has a system to identify where your board stands today — and what to do to improve.

Too many boards have felt starved for data proving how they’re doing.

Other tools have tried to address the question, “how are we really doing,” using self-reported assessments. Typically, these self-assessments are qualitative questions about how you feel vs measuring true outcomes. That approach can only get you so far, especially when you’re only seeing the results of your own self-reported assessments.

The hundreds of boards nationwide using the BoardOnTrack platform have together built up a rich well of data. They track and measure their activities, from meeting attendance to goals progress. With that data, we’ve proven what separates exceptional boards — five-star boards — from the rest. And with the OnTrack Score, you can put that data to work to empower your board to make better decisions — ultimately, to be a better board.

Five-Star Boards Run on the 5 Ps

Successful boards focus on Priorities, People, Process, Performance, and Progress — and improve on each area over time.

PRIORITIES: Defining and Aligning Your Focus

Have you decided what your board will focus on this year? Are your board and CEO aligned around those priorities? Have you set goals to ensure you measure your progress on your priorities?

PEOPLE: The Right People, In the Right Roles

Do you have the right people? Enough of them? Do you have the data to know if they’re the right people? Are the right people in the right roles and do they know what to do?

PROCESS: Doing the Right Work, the Right Way

Are you running great meetings? Are you OML compliant? Is every trustee engaged in your board’s activities?

PERFORMANCE: Measuring Board and CEO performance

Did your board meet {or exceed} its goals for this year? What did your CEO evaluation uncover for you? Are you holding yourselves and each other accountable?

PROGRESS: How You’re Evolving as a Board

Are your capabilities maturing as the organization’s complexity increases? As your board evolves, you’ll move from being largely reactive to what’s happening in the moment, to being highly strategic and forward-thinking — finding deeper ways to deliver on the mission.

See how it works

Join the next live walkthrough to see for yourself what the OnTrack Score — and BoardOnTrack — can do.

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Enabling Boards to Work Together to Reach a Higher Bar

Every trustee enters into the board experience with their own ideas about why they’re there and how they’ll know they’re successful. But, to be successful, the board must operate with one shared vision.

The OnTrack Score provides a common language with which to speak with your board about your performance, and what to do next to continue to reach a higher bar. And it provides vital data to make the tough conversations easier — like addressing a trustee’s lack of engagement or the board’s need for succession planning.

Powering Exceptional Boards With Data-Driven Governance

We believe that results take knowledge plus action. So we’ve taken the 5P’s that drive successful boards and assigned a data-driven system to rank each board on each P.

Your OnTrack Score is an objective measure of your trustees’ real activities. It creates a cumulative ranking based on your success in each of the 5 areas. When your board has reached {or surpassed} the target for each P, you earn another star on your way to achieving the coveted ranking as a 5-Star board.

For example, we know that great boards define their priorities and set goals to stay focused on the right things. The OnTrack Score not only shows your board clearly that goal-setting is a key element to being exceptional. It also gives you at-a-glance insight into how you’re doing on meeting that metric. Plus, the Resources library built into the platform provides extensive guidance on how to successfully engage in a goal-setting process.

With data behind your OnTrack score, your board can rely on and feel confident that you are, in fact, even better than the common refrain of: pretty great. In addition, you can see where you need to improve.

What’s more, as more boards use the platform, the OnTrack Score will continue to improve and evolve, providing even more valuable data on new metrics and comparisons — to help you see how your board compares to its peers.

The OnTrack five-star board rating is the thing every BoardOnTrack member — and, we hope, every board — is aiming towards. It’s difficult to achieve. It is the confirmation you need that your Priorities, People, Process, Progress, and Performance are all in alignment and your board is functioning at the highest level.

What Should BoardOnTrack Members Do Next?

Getting your OnTrack Score started requires no action from you. It’s built right into the platform!

Log in, take a look at where your board stands today, and use that information to hold an actionable conversation with your board about where you are, where you want to be, and what goals you’ll set to get yourselves there.

What are you waiting for? Become a 5-Star Board this year with the OnTrack Score from BoardOnTrack.

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