There is nothing more frustrating for members, managers, and even homeowners, than a Board that is collectively stuck in the muck, having trouble coming to a decision. It is a condition that is all too common.
Perhaps it is a complex construction project, a delicate homeowner situation needing resolution, a complicated budget crisis, or maybe it’s the uncertainty that comes with a vendor change. Many things are thrown at Boards, and frequently it is difficult to get to a point where you are ready for the all-important motion to vote. There are three things that may help you as an individual Board member, and as a collective group.
- Accept that you will never have 100% satisfaction from all stakeholders. Being on the Board means making tough decisions that are best for the Association as a whole. The sooner you can accept that unanimous acceptance is rare, if not impossible, the sooner you can move on to make the necessary decisions and move forward.
- Similarly, realize that Board consensus can be difficult to achieve, and accept that it’s okay. Naturally, the more complicated the topic, the more likely you are to have varying opinions. It is good to hash it out by considering all angles, thoroughly researching the issue, consulting experts when needed, etc. – but eventually you’ve got to call the vote. Everyone moves to comfort, clarity, and ultimately commitment at different speeds. If a majority is ready to make a decision, then make that a reality.
- Have a good facilitator in the group. There is nothing more important to group dynamics than for someone to take on the role of task master. Perhaps it is the President acting as the Chairperson. Sometimes it is the Community Manager, a neutral party, who helps facilitate the meeting along. Whoever it may be, a group needs this person. Their primary skill should be recognizing when a debate is over, or just plain unproductive, and then calling the subject to a vote for resolution. All too often decisions get “tabled” for the next meeting. If it gets “tabled” once, you may as well just move on entirely. You’re probably stuck on the two points mentioned above and will always be there.
Consider these remedies if decision-making paralysis is plaguing your Board. Decisions should always be made wisely. A lack of action, or too much indecision, could harm your Board and Association as a result.