Do you serve on the board of directors of a local nonprofit organization or corporation that isn’t accomplishing all that it could, or should? Thinking of joining a board but not sure how to be an effective board member?
Dr. Lola Gershfeld can help.
Dr. Gershfeld, founder and Board Dynamics Specialist at Level Five Executive, Inc. in Newport Beach, is hosting a seminar on Friday, Nov. 13 from 7 to 10:30 a.m. at The Center Club in Costa Mesa that she says is designed to empower attendees with the knowledge and skills needed to improve board effectiveness, interaction and engagement. She does this by focusing on engagement, effective leadership and board dynamics.
“Boards deliver better results when members are fully engaged,” said Dr. Gershfeld. “Engagement is the key.”
This seminar is designed for anyone who currently serves, or wishes to serve, on a corporate board, nonprofit board, or on a committee. It’s also designed for anyone who serves as a legal counsel or corporate secretary.
“I find that boards are often seeking ways to improve members’ engagement and decision-making processes,” explained Dr. Gershfeld. “Members often want to be connected with each other and feel safe to share ideas, opinions, and their experiences. Unfortunately, many boards create an environment that is perceived as competitive or even combative. Board members simply want to know that they are valued and that their contributions matter.”
During the seminar, attendees will learn to identify structures that improve board function and effectiveness, create an environment for collaboration that delivers results, design effective agendas for board meetings to ensure engagement, and incorporate best practices to avoid common pitfalls.
Seminar panelists include Newport Beach resident Dr. Victoria Collins, First Foundation board and past chair of the Center Club
Board of Governors; Ed Merino, CEO & Founder, Office of the Chairman, NACD LA Chapter FCD, & KPMG Roundtable; Paul Evan Greenwald, Esq., Greenwald & Hoffman, Chairman of the Center Club Board of Governors; and Dr. Gershfeld, Founder of Level Five Executive, and a member of the Center Club Board of Governors. Richard Franzi, founder and CEO of Critical Mass for Business will serve as moderator.
So why start a company like Level Five Executive?
“Fifteen years ago, I served on a company board that had long meetings, and board members had difficulty communicating,” she recalled. “At the end of each board meeting, we had not accomplished anything. One meeting, I said we’re going to do something different. Once an hour, can we try stopping the meeting and give ourselves handshakes and hugs? We are not getting anywhere, so this might help us. So after an hour into the meeting, we decided to try it. That eight hour meeting turned into one hour intervals of members waiting for handshakes and hugs. That meeting was the most productive meeting we ever had.”
That revelation led Dr. Gershfeld on a journey through psychology and learning how the brain is wired. She listened to the stories of various board members who related their negative experiences serving on boards and the arguing, criticizing and blaming that often occurred.
“I wanted people to know this does not have to happen,” said Dr. Gershfeld. “Every company goes through ups and downs, and there will be emotions involved that are important to decision making. You have to look at what is important, and make sure you always stay with the core values and mission. That is what unites us as board members—we make decision that are in alignment with the mission.”
Registration for the Board Dynamics seminar starts at $99 per person. Visit levelfiveexecutive.com for details, or email Dr. Gershfeld at [email protected]