Galvin and Associates

Use hand signals



Managing boards need to discipline themselves to avoid micromanaging the organization. Governing boards need to avoid managing as well as micromanaging. Some boards use red cards to pause discussion if the board is getting off track. If a board member holds up a red card, the entire board can decide if they are doing board work or staff work, then get themselves back on track.

Some boards use a stop sign attached to a small stick to do the same. A simple hand signal will also work, such as “throwing a T” for a brief timeout. This is an invaluable practice for boards transitioning from managing to governing. It is also useful for corralling new board members who are hooked on micromanaging.

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