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Board relevance

Walter E. Johnson ( is Assistant Privacy Officer at Inova in Falls Church, Virginia, USA.

The author’s expressed views are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of Inova.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar[1]

Generally, relationships can be complex and require much effort from the involved parties to be sustainable; some relationships fail to evolve because they are taken for granted. This is no different than a relationship with the board. A reoccurring theme in our profession is successfully engaging our organization’s board of directors and sustaining a relevant relationship. When asked, experienced professionals will share that this skill set evolves as engagement increases with different board directors and boards at different organizations. Our relationship with the board is not an organic one, and the relationship is in its infancy (assuming there is direct reporting to the board or board subcommittee) if we are presenting to a group of individuals we’ve just met within months of assuming our role. But on the surface at least, there are two things that we have in common: (1) investing in the organization’s success and (2) wanting to be viewed as major contributors to the organization’s success.

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