In the movie Field of Dreams (circa 1989) the message is "if
you build it they will come”, but is that really true in the world of community
college entrepreneurship boards? Can we get the substantive engagement needed
by simply building the program or do we need to build a better board to get
Now I remember running our entrepreneurship center at Dakota County Technical College
and how thrilled we were to have an entrepreneurship board of more than 20
committed individuals. We did the invitation to join, we rolled out the red
carpet for the meetings, and we even had a school issued handbook on how to be
a good advisory member. But what we failed to do more often than not is invest
in their participation as a board member with professional development. We all
know that you can be a great technician and still fail in business. The same can be said for our entrepreneurship
Here are 5 tips to provide better board member professional
Invest some actual funds in professional
development. Nominal cost often directly results in nominal outcomes.
Carve out time that is specifically devoted to
getting the group on the same page with mission and vision of the college.
Get participation from internal and external
members- it can’t just be for the volunteers, you must get senior administration
participating as well.
Use a process that actually results in achievement
of a product, such as an action plan.
Reward the participants with some achievement,
award, certificate or other notable note so you can promote them and get buzz
for your program.
Entrepreneurship Specialist Certificate online training is one way to infuse national best
practices for entrepreneurship program success into your professional
development plan. Your board can take part in an online training where they
work asynchronously and then bring them together for regular "wrap” sessions
face to face to solidify your action plan.
For more information, visit www.nacce.com/?OnlineTraining.