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International School of Belgrade Board Admin Retreat September 7, 2013 I participated in the annual Board of Trustees Administration retreat.

t. Leading the day was Adele Hodgson, who is the Strategic Advisor to the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and leads the ECIS Consultancy Services and works with many school boards in international schools in Europe and the Middle East. Adele has worked with our Board of Trustees and our community with the Strategic Plan of 2011-2016 for the past couple of years. It is great to hear her perspective because she works with so many schools and we get a quality benchmark with the other schools. Key Ideas / Vocabulary N.I.F.O. (pronounced neeefoo) Noses in - feet out board members should ask lots of questions and make observations but dont get your sleeves rolled up and heavily involved regarding the operational versus strategic. Confidentiality is vital and board members need to think about what they say to their spouses and an unfortunate remark has done lots of damage in schools. Avoid the false yes because the board member wants to fit in and not be labeled as a nuisance. There is rarely 100% consensus and it is OK to disagree, but once the decision is made, then support in public. Representational mindset Board members think they are representing either a nationality, a program (ex - Lower School, or mathematics) and this is damaging to the Board and school. Members should have the good of the entire school in mind and not act as a lobbyist for their agenda. Structured onboarding Orientation for new board member and they arrive with a packet with past minutes, interviews with key players, and assigning of a mentor. Without this, sometimes boards have a two-tier system with veterans in the know and rookies on the outside. Board Cloud A web site for book recommendations, articles posted, that Board members can read articles and even have a board meeting just to discuss interesting articles. Live stream open board meetings, town hall meetings are dead! Climate Surveys These are hugely important and give data to schools instead of anecdotal evidence. High Anxiety Institutions Hospitals and schools are high anxiety institutions because they deal with the unknown, are unsure about outcomes, and schools especially are dealing with the most precious commodity of parents, their children. Other aspects are the transient nature of the community; international schools are under more scrutiny because stay-at-home moms have lots of time on their hands. An example of a low anxiety institution is civil service/government job. Change needs time, two examples from our school are Dragon Dispatch readership and Tennis Courts Use Fundamental Psychological / Behavioral Traps Adele shared these traps from the IDM Business School in Switzerland. There are three traps which are below: 1) Leader / Control Trap dispropartionate influence by 1-2 board members who may have experience, articulate, rich, etc.

2) Happy Family / Support Trap everyone too suportive, not raising the red flag; everything is good enough and no crisis 3) Argumentative / Broken Relations trust breaks down, dsyfunctional board The latest movement is metrics and dashboard management and each institution must define what information is important. These can help schools get out of complacency but it needs to be done correctly. Two Types of Boardroom Conflict 1) Cognitive Dynamic Tension (task-orientated, healthy for value-added decision making) 2) Affective Personal Agendas (emotional, focused on personal differences, or short comings, corrosive for good dialogue) Anonymous Case Study Notes The strategic issues facing the school are as follows: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) Facilities Marketing (tuition, enrollment) Curriculum (IB, NEASC Accreditation) Board Structure (training, charter) Salary & Benefits (reduce turnover)

Boardroom Dynamics Two things you think are essential to constructive dynamics in a school in the Boardroom Future-orientation - (board comes and goes especially expats, must think in long-term) Varied experience and backgrounds (govt connection, local , moms, other schools) Ready to devote time to thinking before the meetings Trust / open-minded Trust the committees, dont get bogged down in the details Meeting protocol with good, quality information Support decisions No surprises

Board Time Allocation Board Activity Auditing and Monitoring Performance Parent & Student Issues Director Compensation, Mentoring and Evaluation Shaping Strategy Budgeting and Risk Management Facilities External Relations (accreditation, govt., In Committee Whole Board Chair X low Director/Principals Chair mostly X X Finance Facilities T.F. Development X

Guidelines for Committees Set a regular cycle of meetings, 10-12 working days before the BoT meeting, the committees should be meeting. Finance is an easy one. If you dont meet regularly, then perhaps you dont need a committee. The committees should be looking at the Board Goals and parceling out those goals to each committee. Some should be made for the Task Force. Committees send written report and they only accept questions. Members should read them before and come with questions. The Chair of the committee should be confident that all have read it. The ISB BoT has committees for Finance, Facilities, Governance & Policy, and Development. Documents sent to BoT on Friday for a Wednesday meeting. Sometimes boards appoint a member just for the political or economic clout they possess and they are not involved on a committee level. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------H.I.G. is one of the recent private equity companies that are purchasing international schools; the market is growing and has a reasonable return on investment. Energized exciting work of international school Data Collection / Metrics / in our society looking into the future Belgrade-Serbia very different...five years ago Are we alone? Can we learn from similar situations?