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PAAC Model

PAAC Model of Raising the Board

 

Why PAAC? 

As you begin the Raising the Board (RtB) journey, you may be wondering how you’ll remember all the information. Learning anything can feel overwhelming. That’s why the Central PA Chamber created RtB to be different. Raising the Board is the total course experience you’ll take part in over several classes. Within Raising the Board, we wanted to provide a simple tool to help you grow your board related practices, actions, application and connection skills. In fact, that’s where PAAC comes from. PAAC stands for Practice, Act, Apply and Connect.

PAAC is a model, something that stands for a larger meaning than itself. As a board member, you’ll be participating in something larger than you. The reason behind why the organization your board serves exists is larger than you and larger than the board. Like all models, PAAC is easy to remember. Practice – Act – Apply – Connect. Before we learn about each part, think about what these words mean to you today. The beauty of the PAAC model is that without learning anything new, the model can shape your thinking and behaviors around being a board member. Let’s review each part.

Practice

Topics: Vision & Mission, Culture and Strategic Planning.

Musicians, dancers and athletes rely on practice to sharpen their performance.  Practice is a commitment to structure and simple rules. For example, for a runner, running is important, but it’s not everything. Simply showing up to the track to run doesn’t make you a runner. Some simple rules for running are, run regularly, focus on your stride, monitor your heart rate, measure your distance, track your time, become a better you, be healthy and have fun. These simple rules help people BECOME runners. They guide the HOW and WHY of running. Likewise, no one can simply show up to a board meeting and call themselves a board member. Showing up is not enough. How do you practice being a board member? What simple rules can you use to build your value as a board member?

To practice becoming a board member, you’ll need understand, follow and value the simple rules of the organization your board serves. Those come in the form of the organizational Vision, Mission and Culture. Those simple rules govern everything an organization does, including the board. To call yourself a board member, you must commit to practicing those simple rules.

Act

Topics: Ethics, Servant Leadership Responsibilities, Personal Why Statements and Serving on Committees.

Serving on a board is certainly not an individual endeavor. It will cause you to deal with personal bias, opinions and behaviors that can become detrimental to the board if left unchecked. From time to time, you’ll find yourself interrogating your personal norms to ensure you are adding value to the board rather than fulfilling a personal agenda. How you act on a board includes the way you behave, the way you think, the way you interact with others. These acts, or norms, form the foundational, standardized, acceptable behaviors for serving as a board member.

Apply

Topics: Financial Essentials, Fundraising, Bylaws and Meeting Protocols.

As a board member, you will contribute much more than ideas and a personal presence at meetings. Serving on a board involves contributing to the development of products that support the organization you serve. As aforementioned, we considered how a runner practices. At some point, a runner will enter an event or a race. At that time, a runner must perform by applying everything they know about themselves and their sport. They also must consider how they act as a member of the running community. At the race, how they practice determines their performance and how they act determines their standing with others. Applying skills and the capacity to engage with your fellow board members gives you a great set of tools. Now, it’s time to produce for the board. While the products your board will produce vary over time, several are rather standard. They include the organizational budget and finances, fundraising and even simpler items like running efficient, productive meetings. These products will require you as a board member to put your skills, beliefs and practices to good use for the benefit of the organization your board serves.

Connect

Topics: Communication Protocols, Social Media Practices, Advocacy and Marketing.

All organizations have a story to tell. As a board member, you’ll find yourself in a position to share the value of the organization you serve to many others. In fact, your board is counting on that. Each person that connects your organization to another person is helping build a network of value. While many organizations have their own marketing and promotional staff, many depend on their boards to heavily bolster those activities through personal outreach and storytelling. You may be a natural at building relationships with others, or it may be uncomfortable. That’s why a board with diverse personalities and social tendencies is so important. As a board member, the story you tell needs to be aligned with what the organization you serve wishes to convey. Your personal feelings about an organization as well as your experiences influence your tone and message. It’s also important to value open, transparent communications across all board efforts. These protocols will serve to propel all board efforts forward. The way you connect with the community and fellow board members is paramount to the success of your tenure as well the board and ultimately to the growth and stability of the organization you serve.

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