This is not your average board training.
The Bolder Board Training helps nonprofit boards awaken, articulate and pursue their most magnificent dreams. It teaches boards how to work with their CEOs to create audacious possibilities for impact. It is the first board training designed specifically to offer boards a pragmatic and conscientious alternative to the culture of financial deprivation and constriction that they often find themselves upholding. It is not a traditional training on governance and finance. It is an immersion in possibility and aspiration that positively and radically disrupts traditional ways of thinking. The Training takes place over the course of approximately seven hours on a Saturday. It is part lecture, part workshop. It is designed specifically for boards. Organizations are encouraged to bring as many of their board members as possible. The Training can also serve as a powerful first day to a board retreat.
The training liberates natural leadership instincts from the constraints of our cultural mindset about charity. It helps boards become conscious of persistent, limiting assumptions. It is based on the idea that we are at our best, most fully alive, and most impactful when we are challenging assumptions of impossibility – often that we didn't even know we had.
The training empowers a board to create a new future based on what's possible, instead of being driven unconsciously by fear.
Sadly, dreaming can often be seen as a liability in the nonprofit sector. Something could go wrong, and we perceive that as a potential violation of our fiduciary duty. And convention ridicules. It tells us that dreams are sophomoric, silly – idealistic distractions. The training will show you that dreams are the most sophisticated, catalytic forces known to humanity. Where convention says it’s an organization’s duty to its donors to lower overhead, the training will show you how that mindset becomes a self-limiting obstacle to your true potential to achieve your real mission and deliver the impact donors really want.
The training is based on the idea that a dream, taken seriously – underline, "taken seriously," – is the most sophisticated thing known to humankind. It will take you and your organization to a place you may never have given yourselves permission to dream of going, but where you always wanted to be. It’s the serious conversation that typical nonprofit board trainings avoid. It will align, liberate and uplift. It will allow you to take responsibility for your own potential and create the possibilities that attracted you to this work in the first place. It is a hurricane of fresh air in what can be a suffocating paradigm of traditional thought.
Participants report results in these areas:
- Energy for continued work, inspiration for new efforts
- More powerful relationships between the board and CEO
- New board appreciation for the need to invest in growth
- More effective long-term and strategic planning
- Better board alignment and empowerment
- New interest in innovation
- Ability to declare daring goals and intentions
- A new sense of potential
- Important new connections
- A sense of renewal
- Better personal relationships with fellow board members
- Enlightenment about the negative effects of focusing on keeping overhead low
- Organizational courage
- Ability to create a possibility
- Understanding how to scale
- New ways of thinking about obtaining growth capital
- Willingness to set deadlines for mission-critical goals
- Ability to turn obstacles into opportunities
The training is for board members who are serious about leading their organization into a bold future.
That's why we ask people to commit the better part of a day. It's a day that you'll never forget. And while you're coming in order to create new possibilities for the charitable organization you serve, you may well find that the training gets you thinking more boldly about other areas of your life as well.
We highly recommend that you get as many of your board members as possible to attend. The more of the board that's there, the more you can develop consensus and enthusiasm for a common vision for your future.
The training is led by Dan Pallotta
Dan invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDSRides and Breast Cancer 3-Days, which raised over half a billion dollars in nine years and were the subject of one of the first Harvard Business School case studies on social enterprise. His 2013 TED talk on philanthropy is one of the 100 most-viewed TED talks of all time.
His book, "Uncharitable," is the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said that it, "deserves to become the nonprofit sector's new manifesto." He is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review online. He is widely credited with changing the national conversation about impact and overhead in charity in America.
The training is designed to introduce Dan’s groundbreaking ideas to people who have never heard them before. We designed it because so many senior staff said they wanted their boards to hear the message. Dan loves and appreciates his fans, and of course you are welcome, but be advised that some portions of the material may be duplicative of Dan's books and live events if you have attended one of his speeches before.
- We strongly recommend that organizations bring as many of their board members as possible. One of the biggest comments we get is, “I wish my whole board had been here.”
How is it different from traditional trainings?
First, traditional board trainings begin and end with issues of governance and fiduciary duty. Staff trainings focus on best practices within the current operating paradigm. Those things are critical, of course, but should not be an end unto themselves. They should be a means to a far greater end. The Bolder Board Training begins where others end. It’s a counter-intuitive experience for organizations that are serious about impact, and about creating a future based on what’s possible, instead of what has happened in the past. Second, you're not isolated with your own board. You're with a diverse community of board members that cross geography, demography and issues. You learn from a variety of perspectives and challenges, share ideas and insights, and even meet new friends.
What's the subject matter?
Each of us has powerful moments of insight when we see into our own greatness and the potential greatness of our organizations. We realize that there is no reason we can't perform at the level of those iconic organizations we most idolize. In those moments, we know that this is who we really are and these are the things we're meant to do. The training will help you take action to turn those flashes of vision into reality.
It's divided into two separate sessions on liberation and innovation. First, we’ll look at the anachronistic constraints under which most nonprofit organizations operate, so that you can become conscious of just how much they hold you and your team back. Because once you’re conscious of a pattern or system that has been holding you back, you can be free of it. In the second part of the training, we’ll take a counter-intuitive look at innovation. We’ll demystify the whole idea of it in a way that makes it much more accessible to you. What you’ll be left with is the opportunity to create a new possibility for your work and your organization and all those you serve.
What will we learn?
- New thinking. You'll get an entirely new way of thinking about charity, nonprofit business practice, giving and making a difference. You'll learn how loyalty to obsolete conventions and traditional definitions of fiduciary duty undermine your organization’s true potential, and you'll learn the five conventions that fundamentally obstruct your ability to achieve it. And you'll walk away with an intellectual arsenal that gets your donors to think differently about how they invest in you;
- The power of purpose, methodically and consistently applied;
- New ways of looking at innovation, including the four keys to successful innovation, how to understand the nature of the box outside of which you are told to think, and how to create an inspiring possibility;
- How to create a future that is not based on the past and why great dreams are easier to achieve than small plans;
- How to make intelligent investments in your growth;
- How to increase the aliveness, energy and enthusiasm of your team and your board and how to transform your board and keep it transformed;
What are the logistics/cost/requirements?
Cost for the training varies by city. Click here for pricing;
The trainings take place from 8:30am to approximately 4:00pm.
Results are best when a majority of your board is present. Now, you may have the reaction that it will be difficult to get that many to attend. This then becomes an important first exercise toward getting your board aligned on a bold future. Getting them to commit part of a day to their own transformation becomes the first step in getting them to commit to the achievement of a great dream. This is what we mean when we say that the training is for leaders who are serious about making a great impact. We promise an experience that no one will forget;
There are two brief morning breaks and a lunch break. Lunch is available at many area restaurants within easy walking distance;
Seating is at round tables;
In order to keep costs low, no coffee will be provided. If you need your morning coffee please bring it with you.
Information about parking, where to eat, directions, what-to-wear, etc. will be sent to you several weeks prior to your Training.