Community Insider Fall 2017 - Page 16

Keys to a Productive Board By John T. Barnes W e know the cycle: a new board member wants to “shake things up.” This new member initially has everyone scrambling, only to discover that the “new approach” doesn’t mesh with the realities of the situation. The new member turns out to be not very productive after all, and things drift along until the next “mover and shaker” comes in to try it again. Familiar? Yes. Productive? Not at all. But, as the following keys illustrate, there are ways to incorporate new visions and styles into a board to increase productivity. KEEP WHAT WORKS It is always good to review existing contracts and check in with vendors, but for the most part, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Don’t fire 16 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER | FALL 2017 the landscapers with their 20-year history of service because the irrigation timers don’t work-upgrade the timers instead! RELY ON EXPERTS Board members are not professionals, have professionals available to them: vendors, contractors, etc. Don’t second- guess the roofer because the board thinks it should be done differently; get a second opinion-but always make decisions on the recommendations of the experts. This is key to providing good customer service, and for liability protection as well. SPEND THE MONEY Don’t focus on saving a dime rather than spending a dollar where it is needed. The cheaper bid is not always best; the most- expensive is not always the worst. I recall one paving project where the board went with the cheaper bid, only to discover the project was sub-standard and had to be redone. This $10,000 job cost another $10,000 to complete, when the $15,000 top-bid could have gotten it done right the first time. WWW.CAI-SD.ORG