Congratulations! You've been elected to the condo board. Your neighbours and other members believe you are an individual capable of getting projects done and thinking sensibly.
You want to create change—change in policies, practices, and the building. How is the best way to accomplish this and any other problems faced by condo boards? The simplest answer is not to micromanage.
It is the duty of the condo board and board of directors to manage the affairs of the corporation they represent. This responsibility includes providing specific services for others living in the building. Condo boards that micromanage inhibit these goals and responsibilities, even if they're trying their best to do the opposite.
Disadvantages of Micromanaging Condo Boards
While condo boards don't try to go in the wrong direction, using micromanaging techniques often puts them in the backwards fast track. Condo management can go sideways with micromanaging because it increases burnout in the directors. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion created by chronic stress. According to a 2004 Statistics Canada Study, more than “3.4 million Canadians suffer from burnout.” Watching the every move and decision of management staff is draining. You're essentially taking over two jobs when you were only elected to do one. Eventually, this constant scrutinizing will be the end of your volunteerism because you can't handle the issues anymore that you shouldn't be dealing with in the first place. You may grow to hate the position that you were once so eager to start.
For those who can deal with micromanagement, they can become dependent on board members to endorse their every little move. This dependency is never good. The work is completed at a slower pace because individuals are looking to you for approval or answers to questions. Micromanaging, in this case, creates individuals who only knows how to do what they’re told. This dependency also increases the rate of board member burnout. If you do decide it's time to let go of some control and relax, your dependent colleagues won't let you.
The last, and most crucial consequence of condo board micromanagement is that it slows down the process of getting things done. That was the opposite of what you wanted to do, right? Those renovations that were supposed to last a few weeks are now estimating completion in a few months. Why, you must ask? It's because overly involved board members are providing suggestions, approving, and reviewing every step of the way to the point where the work is completed at a snail's pace.
Although it may take some time, micromanaging condo boards can develop into efficient governing bodies. It won't be easy, but both you and the management staff will be happier. The key to an efficient condo board is a clear assignment of roles and responsibilities. These may not be well established, but it's important to do so. Creating boundaries and lines of control ensures micromanaging will be minimized because board members will know exactly what they need to do. Their valuable time won't be wasted working on a problem that's already been delegated to someone else.
Another micromanaging solution that may be a little harder is to relinquish the need for control. As a governing board, it is up to you to decide what happens to the building and its policies. However, it is up to the management staff to figure out what the best way is to achieve those goals. If you can step back and let staff finish the job, you can attain condo board efficiency. So don't send that fifth email. Resist calling to check in, and have faith that your management staff are capable of doing the job. It is, after all, the reason they were hired.
Efficient condo management boards set goals, govern responsibly, and get things done. Micromanaging hinders all these processes. While it may seem like you're just providing a little extra guidance, you can burn yourself out, slow things down, a create dependant individuals. By establishing clear responsibilities and exerting less control, everyone will be able to do their jobs well and in an efficient manner.