The Buck Stops ... Where?
America's Blood Centers' board of directors owns responsibility for the performance of ABC. As is the case with any organization, the buck stops with the directors and officers. Granted, boards hire, evaluate, compensate, and retain a CEO with the expectation that this individual will oversee the operations of the enterprise. But in doing so, boards must step up and not blindly follow the lead of the CEO. Rather, they must spend considerable time on strategic issues such as oversight, planning, enviro-scanning and assessing organizational risk. ABC's board is doing just that.
With the belief that the future is the most important focus, ABC's board is committed to spending 25 percent of their meetings on fiduciary oversight (operational excellence) and 75 percent on strategy.
The board recently met in Washington, D.C., and spent the majority of the meeting conducting strategic thinking. Among other accomplishments, the board approved the fiscal year 2015 budget, evaluated partnerships with outside organizations, coordinated future bylaw revisions, developed a path to maximize alignment of the Foundation and ABC strategy, and forged a financial plan and organizational structure consistent with the strategic plan.
The board is committed to ongoing development to support the effective leadership of ABC. To that end, David Nelmark, ABC's legal counsel, presented the legal responsibilities of a board of directors, available to ABC members at http://bit.ly/1umStcW.
In recognition of the important role that ABC staff plays in the execution of board strategy, the board members visited ABC's headquarters for a reception with staff in ABC's newly renovated office.
The CEO role can be very lonely. To support and retain a high performance CEO, the board must work to understand and respond to key strategic issues, and must also recognize and support the contributions of not just the CEO, but the staff who dedicate their hearts and souls to advancing the organization. ABC members can be assured that the board has their back in fulfilling their individual and collective responsibilities and that your CEO is not acting alone.
Christine S. Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer; CZambricki@americasblood.org