Dividing The Effort Pie
During my earlier term on the Board I struggled to keep up with all of the opportunities that came along to contribute. I had projects within my portfolio I wanted to get chartered, projects in other portfolios that interested me, and plenty of intra-Board discussions where participation is vital. It’s was incredibly easy to find myself working 15 hours a week or more on top of my day job. It’s absolutely about time management, but also about making some decisions about what you care about most. The method I found that worked for me before and that I plan to use again is to look at every task and map it into one of the three key areas (AKA: slices of pie). Let me walk you through what those look like.
Tactical portfolio level
This is what I like to call immediate term work. Typically when joining the Board a Director is assigned a portfolio, given some resources and tasked with being its steward. Depending on the portfolio and its current state this can either be a huge assignment or a rather minor one. As a new director it’s very easy to get sucked in to spending all of your time working on things in this area. While this is admirable, the problem is the organization still has needs in the other areas, particularly the longer term vision.
General PASS Improvements
Things I group into this area are generally not immediate term but, closer to short/middle term. When I group things in to this category, they are typically things PASS is looking to do within the next year or two and have a limited longer term impact on the organization. I would include things in this group like approving a budget, deciding to have a second Business Analytics Conference, or whether there should be a SQL Rally in a certain location.
Board & Governance issues
This is the last major category of time I use. It’s easily overlooked and critically important to the long term viability of the organization. Governance is typically boring and filled with minutiae but it is absolutely critical for a Board member to continue to look into the future and make decisions now that put the organization in a favorable position. During my previous tenure on the board global growth, business analytics strategy and restrictions on company BOD representation fell into this category
I know that if I’m elected I won’t be able to do it all. I’m going to have to make choices and I’ll make the choices that I think serve PASS over the long(er) term.
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