On November 11, The Washington Post ran a collection of five pieces by leaders in the nonprofit arts sector touching on issues raised by the current plight of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Long a premier cultural institution in Washington—located across the street from the White House—the Corcoran is struggling to forge a sustainable future. Irvine President and CEO Jim Canales was among the leaders invited to share their views; he wrote about the importance of a constructive partnership between an organization’s chief executive and its board. His contribution is reprinted here:
Having served on and chaired many nonprofit boards, as well as having been chief executive of a large foundation for nine years, I know that when partnerships between a nonprofit’s board and its chief executive work well, they create the conditions for high performance. A constructive partnership:
Like any human relationship, the board/CEO partnership requires both parties to devote the time and care to cultivating and sustaining a high-functioning partnership. When done properly, the results for the organization and—more important—those it serves will have been well worth the effort.