We all know that in order for any business to operate successfully there must be an element of teamwork involved.
In our world of community association living, the board and management relationship are vital in developing and maintaining a thriving community that residents can call home for many years to come. This relationship is only achieved when the board and management function as a team.
A productive relationship between the Board and Management is critical for good governance of any community association. Central to this relationship is a mutual understanding of roles, delegations and boundaries which allows each party to respect the other's responsibilities, contributions and expectations.
The board expects management to accept that the board's role is to monitor and question, probe issues, seek clarification, offer insight and share its knowledge; with management more deeply involved in the detail and operations of the organization. Board members rely on management to share all material information needed for decision making which allows them to effectively fulfill their obligations as directors.
Management expects the board will trust them to implement strategy and deliver outcomes without undue interference. The community manager, specifically, expects from the board clearly stated objectives and defined boundaries of authority. Without this direction, the community manager is left to speculate on what the board wants him/her to achieve.
For optimal performance, board and management must work together cohesively as a team with respect and candor. Below are a few tips that can be used to help create this atmosphere of managing as a team:
- Appoint 1 point of contact for the manager. This is typically the chair. This provides the manager with one source of directive in between reporting period.
- Listen to each other. The manager should listen to the board's concerns drawing on any experience and input from the board. The board should listen to the manager with an open mind to allow management to make its contribution with confidence and clarity of viewpoint
- Be patient, polite and respectful. A good working relationship takes time and effort from both parties.