The function of a board is to govern an association or organization. Board members provide direction, set policy, and oversee strategy, finances, operations and personnel. It is important to have the right people on your board to manage these critical components of an organization. Board members need to know how their decisions impact the consortium or organization as a whole. The board should be able to demonstrate that they have knowledge of not just the issues facing your business but also solutions that can help lead you toward success.

In this article, we will share 3 key qualities to look for in your board members. 

1. The Right Fit

When recruiting board members, start by thinking about the needs of your organization. What skills do you need on your board? Do you need people with finance or fundraising experience? You might want someone with legal expertise or someone who has worked within an organization or tech alliance of your niche before. The more specific you can be in describing what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to find candidates who will fit well with your organization’s needs.

Next, think about the culture of your association and whether potential board members share key values with your organization. What’s the culture like at your consortium? Are there any values that are particularly important to you? What personality and character traits do you want in your board members? For example, if an applicant always has a positive attitude and loves giving back to their community, they might be a great fit for a small nonprofit that focuses on helping others while providing a positive environment for employees and volunteers alike.

2. A Willingness to Serve

One of the most important qualities for a board member is their willingness to serve. This means that the member is committed to the organization, including its mission and goals. In addition to professional skills, make sure that potential board members can commit their time and energy to serving on the board. Having the right skills is a major criteria, but it doesn’t mean anything if they are frequently absent board members. Board members should also be willing to take on new responsibilities as they arise, even if that means putting in extra work when needed. A willingness to serve is a leadership quality that resonates throughout the rest of your organization’s staff. A present leader normally represents a present personnel.

3. A Diverse Perspective

Diversity of opinions and observations are an organizational element that should never be overlooked. A successful board is composed of individuals from different backgrounds and experiences. This helps make sure that all voices are heard, ensuring stakeholders throughout varying departments of the association are considered in decision-making processes.  By bringing on people from diverse industries, you’ll ensure that there’s always a fresh perspective at the table and consider all possibilities when managing matters. The more diverse your board is, the better. Diversity helps to prevent group-think, which can lead to an echo chamber effect where members of a board only hear what they want to hear. This hinders decision-making processes and leaves out key factors that could make or break an issue.


A diverse board of directors is a critical component to a well-run organization. You should look for board members who share similar values as your association or organization and have relevant professional experience, but also make sure that they’re willing to put in the time and effort needed for serving on the board. The more specific you can be about what you’re looking for in potential candidates, the easier it will be finding people who fit in well with your organizational needs as well as those who can serve effectively on an advisory body or board of directors.

More About IEEE-ISTO

ISTO was established in January 1999 to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing technology alliances, consortiums, technology associations, and working groups. ISTO provides the infrastructure and support for market standards, industry standards development and/or market adoption of emerging technologies. Our offerings like technology association management, not for profit alliance management, member satisfaction, IT industry standards, are diverse, comprehensive, and customizable to address all your program’s needs. 

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