submitted by Shelli Williams, IOM, ICEA President
I have spent a great deal of time during the last quarter of this year reviewing chamber by-laws. Many are in much need of an update, as some Chamber leadership teams continue to operate on antiquated documents. It surprises me how many organizations do not include term limits for board positions. The ICEA leadership is often asked if Board term limits are a good idea, and the resounding answer is always yes. Chambers need new talent as part of the rotational process of moving the organization forward. A standard process is no more than two consecutive 3-year terms before a board leader must rotate off for at least one year. I recently had a discussion with an executive director that wanted to change her by-laws the opposite way, allowing for leaders in the talent pipeline to hold executive offices for two-year terms throughout ascending the ladder. That would mean that once elected to the executive board, a volunteer would be locked in to service for at least eight additional years before rotating off of the Board. As I shared with this professional, you will always have effective board members that make it hard to lose talent from your team, however if you are in this profession long enough, execs will deal with some lackluster board leaders that you look forward to transitioning from the leadership. Establishing Board term limits before a situation arises could save future leaders from entering a dangerous zone of staff - Board conflict.