SoCo Meeting Notes – 9-20-2022

Mary Fertakis of M Fertakis Consulting was the featured speaker at SoCoCulture’s 9/20/2022 meeting at the Tukwila Community Center. This was a profoundly helpful presentation, loaded with local historical insight, about reimagining and regrounding the work of boards in our society, following a dual pandemic of health and racial equity. (And, some might add, climate change.) South King County was more directly impacted than a lot of places. And while we have a desire not to go back to the old normal, there IS a very real need for a degree of predictability going forward.

It is foundational for boards to understand that boards need exec directors and vice versa, to make your dreams come true.

The four elements of highly functional boards are: trust, respect, communication, and conflict resolution.

Wisdom: Board handbooks should have conflict of interest and ethical behavior statements – and board members should be asked this to read and sign this when coming on board. This can be referred back to when necessary.

Wisdom: When an exec director makes recommendations to a board, it’s good to provide more than one option.

Wisdom: “We were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason – we’re supposed to do more listening than talking.:”

Wisdom: When responding to a point of view, try asking a clarifying question instead of making a statement. Also, don’t say “Yes, but –” because that invalidates everything the person just said. Use “Yes, and…” instead.

Wisdom: Remember that in addition to $$, organizations also have resources like space, partnerships, people, time, social capital. So there is flexibility in some of the work we are trying to accomplish.

Here are some handouts, Mary provided: