Board Series: Board Identity – The Most Important Question to Get Clarity On.

This is going to be a brief, but powerful post – at least that’s the goal! Right now I have the privilege of being on an strategic journey of learning tools to help boards refocus, get unstuck, or get back on track.

Sometimes boards get so derailed that they need to pause and have an intentional, carefully attended to, focussed restart. Sometimes we’ve no idea how far we’re off track until we invite other external experts in to do a scan and review, reporting back to the board their findings.

If you’re a board member, don’t ever shy away from recommending an external review. If you’re on a board and you have the opportunity to shape the board development process, make an external review part of your annual or bi-annual board health process. Find ways to monitor the health of the board – it’s vital to productivity and board success.

I serve primarily in Christian contexts so you’ll hear me speak from that identity. As a Christian board, here is the most important question you need to ask yourselves: What do we want our Christian board identity to be? 1 Make sure to leave ample time for a board to together discuss this, come up with a board identity statement.

This questions is foundational and should be answered by the collective board. A board, though comprised of individuals, is an entity. Answering the ‘we’ question influences the who, what, why, when, and how.

Powerful!  Get it clear and then build upon that foundation, referencing it as often as needed to stay focussed and healthy.

If you have a varation on the above question or are willing to share a questions process you took a board through to help them get clarity around this question, I’d like to hear it! Shoot me an email at

Have an amazing day!


p.s. If you’re interested in other posts in the Board Series, here they are:

Board Series: The Role of the Assistant to the Board

Board Series: The Director’s Voice, What Not to Do 

Why Good Governance is Essential and Why Who You Choose as a Chair Matters

Board Series: What Do Governing Boards Do? 

Board Series: Considering Being a Board Member? Things You Should Consider





  1. Special thanks to Dr. Keith Walker and Dr. Paul Magnus for their investment in boards and board development.

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