- 8-10 really capable people
- A clear purpose for the day
- A large handful of commitment
- 1 Facilitator (specialist in board leadership)
- An inspiring venue
- Bottomless coffee pots
- A generous sprinkling of fun and laughter
- The agenda (agreed and circulated in advance) shouldn’t be too busy, and may include some of the following:
- High level thinking about key strategic priorities and key risks
- Review of board effectiveness
- Board skills audit, leading to board development planning
- The delegation framework
- Depending on the agreed purpose of the day, issue pre-reading in advance. Agree small groups to lead the discussion on each of the documents, which may include some of:
- Groupthink in the boardroom http://www.leadinggovernance.com/resource-public/people/groupthink-boardroom
- Good Governance – A Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector http://www.governancecode.org/full-code-of-governance/
- Your board and board member Role Descriptions
- Feedback from key stakeholders to inform strategic thinking
- The Board Chair and Facilitator should welcome participants, use an ‘icebreaker’ exercise to get people warmed up, and invite them to define what will make this a great use of their time – those priorities can inform the time allocation for the rest of the Away Day.
- Use open questions in relation to the pre-reading to kick off debate about the documents, eg:
- What are we doing well in this area?
- What can we improve? What are our next steps?
- Who can help us with this?
- The outcomes should be a clear and concise Governance Action Plan for the year and improved team relationships, which are essential for a high performing board.