The Chair’s role and responsibilities do not change during a crisis like the current pandemic.
The essential role of the Chair generally, and in a crisis, is to manage the board and its work and ensure that the board continues to govern.
This is a time when some board members will be uncertain of their role and responsibilities and some will think that they should now step in and take charge of running the organization. In these circumstances the Chair’s job is to keep everyone calm and focused on continuing with their job of governing.
The Chair might need to work more closely with the Chief Executive to determine what support or help he/she may need from the board. Armed with this information the Chair can work with the board to figure out how to provide the support or help requested by the Chief Executive.
The Chief Executive might present the board with issues such as closing the organization, staff layoffs, serving client, members, customers in new or different ways, funding issues, that the board will need to address while they are unable to meet face-to-face. Thankfully, there is plenty of technology available to help the board continue to do its work.
So, nothing in the Chair’s role and responsibility changes. It’s the methodology of how the board and committees get their work done that changes.
Courtesy of Vince Battistelli