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Categories: MeetingsTags: Published On: May 4th, 2023

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Running an HOA board meeting is no simple task–it’s easy to get caught in the weeds and risk losing track of time or missing an important topic. Determining all of the things that need to be discussed and decided upon can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

Taking time before each meeting to plan out how it will be structured can help ensure that things go as planned, but knowing where to begin that planning process can be difficult. One of the tricks big businesses use in their board and committee meetings is the concept of “one-degree shifts.”

Bringing the Strategic Power of One-Degree Shifts to Your HOA Board Meetings

A one-degree shift is the smallest amount of change a team can make in order to generate the greatest possible long-term difference. Rather than using the same planning structure over and over again and being frustrated by meetings that run over or skipping important talking points, implementing a structure of constant, tiny shifts can work to increase your meeting success over time. Part of the secret sauce of quality CAM management is utilizing strategic advantages like one-degree shifts to make your HOA board meetings more effective and productive.

Where to Begin

When you think about it, the world is full of one-degree shifts. Think about the last gym or fitness ad you saw–something about how “just getting started” is what matters, right? Well, it’s true. There’s so much pressure to make massive, groundbreaking strides, but in reality, a simple change in perspective can be all it takes to achieve a completely different outcome.

Try shifting your perspective by asking yourself these questions:

  • Why are we doing what we’re doing?”
    Understanding your motivations is a great first step in making small-but-impactful shifts. When motives are clear, desired outcomes are easier to achieve. 
  • How can I better my community?”
    Looking for areas where your community is struggling can be incredibly beneficial in making the small changes needed to see desired improvements. 
  • “Are we asking ourselves the right questions?”
    This one is tricky–how do you break out of the numerous important questions you’re currently facing? Reframing those questions in new ways can lead to significant breakthroughs in understanding change management. For example, you could ask the first two questions instead as: 

    • “Why are we not doing certain things?”
      Just as understanding motivations is important, understanding your concerns is equally valuable. Assess why certain choices are being made in the other direction–why is the board choosing not to do something, and can changing that make a positive impact? 
    • “How do our residents feel that the community can be bettered?”
      When boards make insulated decisions about the community, there are a myriad of positive outcomes, yes–you are knowledgeable and skilled individuals with a goal of creating a quality community environment. But including homeowner concerns as a primary objective can create unique new outcomes that could be just as beneficial for everyone. And finding ways to generate community involvement can go a long way in eliciting lasting change.

Additionally, collecting important data will be vital in finding ways to implement small changes and one-degree shifts to improve meeting flow, reduce HOA board meeting time, and streamline conversations and debates. Start out your one-degree shift journey by tracking metrics like the length of time your HOA board meetings run, the number of attendees and speakers at each meeting, and the number of talking points being discussed at each meeting (as well as the number of topics the board wanted to discuss but couldn’t get to due to time constraints.)

Challenges Facing One-Degree Shifts

As you can imagine, implementing one-degree shifts in your HOA board meetings is not always easy. Resistance to change is a knee-jerk reaction for many people, especially when those people feel that they don’t fully understand their situation (as many homeowners in community associations tend to feel). Here are some common challenges that you can expect to face when initially implementing one-degree shifts:

  • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
    Change is hard for everyone, especially when it comes to something as important as governing an entire neighborhood or community! Your board members or homeowners might feel like changes (regardless of size) are unnecessary because things were working just fine before. Even if they’re correct, there is always room for improvement. Acknowledge their fears and concerns, reassure them that any actions taken by the board are made in good faith, and remind them that the board is required to act only with the best interests of the community in mind. 
  • “We don’t have the time.”
    Implementing one-degree shifts can be a sizeable time commitment–asking volunteer board members to take time out of their day to assess months or years of historical data from board meetings past is a tall order. If your HOA board doesn’t have that kind of time, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Working with a management company versed in applying strategic one-degree shifts is an alternative that doesn’t ask too much of the board.

Start Strategically Shifting

HOA board meetings are tedious, strenuous, and often feel like a wasted effort. Change can be difficult, but breaking down big change into simple, small steps is a proven strategy for success that every board can implement. Want to learn more about how HOA Strategies can help your board introduce one-degree shifts at the next monthly HOA board meeting? Click here to set up your free strategic consultation.