Beacon Programme logo

Developing an Effective Board Team

Welcome to our resources which will support you in working with your charity to develop the strategy, resources and processes to succeed. Below are resources that will help you:

  • Enable your board to work well together
  • Manage conflict and support difficult conversations
  • Putting in place succession plans for your role as Chair
  • Gain insights and top tips from other Chairs of smaller organisations

We have listed relevant Beacon and AoC resources as well as external resources produced by other organisations that we think you may find useful. We are currently developing more resources so watch this space. 

To access all the resources, please join the free programme first.

If you have already registered for the Beacon programme you need to login to get full acccess the following resources.

Types of resources

Don’t have much time? Beacon's Top Tips will provide you with some practical tips for effectively fulfilling your chairing role

Need help with the doing? Beacon's Tools will provide you with useful frameworks and suggestions based on good practice

Want to explore a topic further? Our Guides will get you thinking; outlining best practice, key issues for Chairs of smaller charities and topics for further discussion

Want a quick overview? Our Summaries provide you with the key points and important concepts from our guides

Want more information?  Where we know that there are already plenty of good resources available, our Resources Lists signpost you to what we think you will find useful

Please give us feedback on our resources by clicking on this icon.  Let us know what you found particularly useful or not so useful.

Beacon and AoC resources

The working with trustees series

Guide - Working one-to-one (PDF)

This guide is the first of three in our Working with trustees series. It offers you practical guidance on what you as Chair can do to build your one-to-one relationships with your board members.

The working with trustees series

Guide - Working as a team (PDF)

This guide aims to help Chairs build a strong board team. It offers guidance on identifying different types of teams, stages of team development and building a team that works effectively together.

The working with trustees series

Guide - Working through difficult board relationships (PDF)
This guide looks at some of the challenging behaviours which Chairs may have to manage. It offers tips on understanding the causes of difficult behaviour, recognising if your behaviour may be contributing to the problem and how to address the difficulties.

A Chair’s briefing: Why do good boards make bad decisions: some insights from neuroscience and psychology (PDF)
This briefing explores why otherwise diligent and well-functioning boards can make bad decisions.

A Chairs’ briefing: Boards and human emotions (PDF)
This briefing helps us to understand how human emotions influence board behaviour and how the chairing role involves recognising the board as a social group with dynamics that affect its ability to function well.

Managing your succession (PDF)
We often hear from Chairs of smaller charities of their struggle to find a successor. If you are struggling to find a new Chair, it can be tempting to say ‘anyone willing, will do,’ for the board to accept a sudden gap in leadership, or for you to feel pressured into continuing. Here are some tips from Chairs of smaller charities to help you find your successor.

Working with a Vice Chair (PDF)
Many Chairs find it helpful to have a Vice Chair. Vice Chairs can help in a range of ways that make your tasks feel less onerous and make you feel less alone. Here are some top tips on working with a Vice Chair.

Self-Assessment: AoC Team Health Check for Boards (PDF)
The following self-assessment will help you reflect on your board’s teamwork, and where your areas of development and focus might need to be. It is based on the AoC Team Health Check for Boards which is included in our publication ‘The Working with Trustees Series: working as a team’.

External resources

Below are some guides and resources developed by other organisations that we think you may find useful.  Some of these resources are referred to in our events

Conquer Team Dysfunction by Patrick Lencioni (PDF) 
Patrick Lencioni highlights the importance of teamwork and explores the five dysfunctions of a team

Myers Briggs Type Indicator
Understand yourself better by finding out which of 16 distinctive personality types you fit into

Belbin’s Team Roles
Belbin identified that the most successful teams were made up of a diverse mix of behaviours. Improve your understanding of your existing board team by working out the ‘team roles’ of your individual trustees

De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats
A useful tool to help trustees separate their thinking into six clear functions and roles. This is particularly helpful when trustees are carrying out both ‘operational’ and ‘governance’ roles