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Unstick Your Trustees From Micromanagement Mode

Posted by on January 29th, 2024
Posted in Blog, Independent Schools, Strategic Planning    Tags: , , ,

The crisis of COVID-19 has faded, but many schools’ boards of directors are stuck in a cycle of micromanagement. 

The pandemic’s challenges necessitated a temporary shift of the board’s role from oversight to hands-on management — a response crucial given the circumstances. But now, some of those same board members’ time and energy remains misdirected on operations. Though their intentions are good, they can be more effective by pivoting toward where they can make the biggest impact.

It’s time to redirect your board’s energy. First, by re-energizing board members with the big-picture possibilities of your mission. Then, by refocusing your board’s activities on that mission rather than putting out fires in the day-to-day.

Here are three approaches to do just that.

Re-inspire Members to Act as Visionary Leaders

Issue: Boards failing to set visionary goals and provide resources to achieve them, hindering your school’s progress.

Solution: Inspire trustees to actively collaborate with your head of school to craft an inspiring vision for the institution. Invest in training sessions that teach and nurture generative thinking, and encourage all trustees to attend workshops and conferences that showcase bold governance practices. Allocate resources thoughtfully, aligning them with the future-focused goals that will fuel the school’s transformation.

Elevate Communication and Collaboration

Issue: Boards struggling to communicate effectively with school leadership, hindering overall effectiveness.

Solution: Foster a positive and energizing environment by organizing team-building activities and communication workshops for board members and school administrators. Introduce external facilitators to suggest new approaches and rebuild collaborative relationships with school leadership for more unity and impact. Establish regular channels of communication between the board and head of school, and encourage everyone to communicate with clarity and enthusiasm.

Unleash Creativity to Overcome Micromanagement

Issue: Boards crossing the line between governance and management, leading to operational challenges and low staff morale.

Solution: Ignite the board’s imagination by advocating for immersive professional development opportunities. Encourage attendance at visionary conferences and workshops that help reconnect them with their essential roles as board members, and also energize them with fresh perspectives. Collaborating with imaginative consultants specializing in board governance will infuse the board with unexpected insights, steering them away from micromanagement and towards strategic leadership of the mission.

Get Started Today for Greater Impact Tomorrow

It’s time to re-reimagine school board governance! Leveraging the full potential of your board contributes to the lasting success and positive transformation of your school.

When you find yourself seeking ways to amplify your impact and advance your school, contact Mission Minded. We’re here to partner with you on your journey to even greater mission fulfillment.


Director of Education Strategy Romayne Levee leads our education practice, working with independent schools and educational organizations to raise their profiles with strategies that benefit school leaders and their communities immeasurably. She has developed dynamic strategic plans and brand strategies for Mission Minded clients from coast to coast, including San Francisco Day School, Friends School of Baltimore, and Marlborough School (LA). Romayne is the founding Board Chair of Vistamar School, an independent high school in LA, and currently serves on the Board of Lewis & Clark College.

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