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We all believe that groups make better decisions than individuals. There’s power in numbers, isn’t there? Otherwise, a board of directors might just as well consist of one person.
But is it true? Do groups really make better decisions?
How do groups go about making decisions, anyway? More importantly, how should they be making decisions to improve the odds of achieving the best outcome?
And what is the boardroom reality when it comes to decision-making? Do boards really make...
When we join a board, whether or not we have prior experience as a director, we all hope to ‘hit the ground running.'
We want to make a difference sooner rather than later.
And our boards share that wish. They want to set up their new directors for success – feeling comfortable and able to make a contribution early on. That’s why many boards hold an orientation session – a few hours devoted to helping new directors get on their feet.
I set out to find out what a new...
I often close my email messages with the words ‘Stay Curious.’
For me, it’s more than just a closing line like ‘Sincerely’ or ‘Yours truly.’ I mean it as a reminder to the reader – and to myself for that matter – to intentionally focus on always bringing a lively state of curiosity to the board table.
I firmly believe that curiosity is one of the attributes that separates a ho-hum board director from a Savvy Director.
And I’m not...
I’m sure you’ve seen it happen. The board decides to hold an in camera session – or as it’s known in the US, an executive session - clearing the boardroom of all staﬀ.
Outside the closed door, staﬀ perceive it as a signal that something ominous is about to happen. They start to speculate about what’s going on. Is the CEO in trouble? Has something scandalous occurred? Is the company threatened?
Inside the boardroom, the questions are less earth-shaking. How...
The value you bring to the boardroom is what matters.
You’re in the boardroom for a reason. It's not enough to simply show up. Putting your skills and attributes to work will enable you to make a positive impact on your board.
Knowing how and where you can add value helps you be the most effective director you can be. It gives you the confidence to engage actively with your peers around the board table (or on the computer screen).
“The board is a special group of people. People...
Does kindness have a place in the boardroom?
Lately I’ve read a few interesting articles about the value of being kind vs. being nice. It got me thinking about how this distinction applies to a board of directors.
The Savvy Director understands that being effective requires more than just knowledge of the esoteric rules of board governance. It requires understanding people - how they think, behave and interact with each other. In fact, one of The Six Key Habits of The Savvy Director is...
How can directors possibly know what is going on in the organizations they serve? After all, while management spends all their time immersed in operations and strategy, board members spend a comparatively small amount of time on their board duties and seldom step outside the boardroom.
That makes for a huge information gap.
As a board director, you’re pretty much completely dependent on management reports and presentations to best inform the discussion that’s needed to fulfill...
There are days when it’s just not obvious what the subject of the next weekly Savvy Director blog should be. So, we happily welcome reader suggestions.
A couple of weeks ago, Jim sent an email with a link to an article from The Globe and Mail, ‘Introverts, time to add some extrovert skills into your repertoire.’ The gist of the article is that, to be effective, introvert leaders sometimes need to act like extroverts.
Jim’s comment was, “Interesting article. You...
If your board is typical, there’s time set aside in the board calendar to discuss strategy – at least I hope there is! Usually, there’s an offsite strategic planning session every few years, maybe an annual board retreat that includes a strategy update, and hopefully there is time allocated on most meeting agendas to check in on progress against the strategic plan.
Over the years I’ve participated in quite a few strategic planning sessions. The board and senior...
You know the old saying … ‘One bad apple spoils the bunch.’
According to Merriam-Webster, when we use the phrase ‘bad apple’ to refer to a person, we mean ‘someone who creates problems or causes trouble for others; specifically: a member of a group whose behavior reflects poorly on or negatively affects or influences the remainder of the group.’
Oddly enough, over time, the concept has been used to describe the opposite situation. In recent times,...
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