My guest today is Mike Burns. Mike began his career as an executive director of a community health center and now has over 20 years’ experience as a nonprofit manager. Since 1994 Mike has been an organizational development consultant and partner in BWB Solutions. Since 2017 Mike has been faculty in the University of New Haven’s Nonprofit Management Certificate Program. Mike’s consulting practice focuses on strategic planning, governance and helping nonprofits assess their readiness for strategic alliances. Mike is also a fellow researcher on two national studies about nonprofit board leadership conducted through the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.

A couple of unique things about Mike are he operates an organic farm and has been a professional foster parent for nearly 20 years!

Here’s what to expect during the episode:

  • What conditions are ripe for a board to experience their lack of authority against a founding executive? Is the board owned by itself or the founder?
  • Understanding the relational and transactional dynamics of boards. Where does tension come from?
  • The importance of having people understand what the purpose of the board is, including the roles of each board member.
  • How do you deal with a founder who wants to be too controlling?
  • The benefits of implementing the right board recruitment and orientation.


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