How Corporate Boards Can Improve Their Effectiveness

Board service is a fantastic opportunity to step away from your typical business duties and improve your ability to look at an organization as a whole, rather than only the functional areas you’ve been in charge of in the past. It also exposes you the wide range of issues and problems that businesses have to face. You may have to make difficult decisions that affect individuals negatively, such as deciding on redundancies, or closing down an office. These situations teach you to take a look at the situation at hand and not to be influenced by your own emotional reactions or those of your colleagues.

Another question that is often raised is how to ensure a wide range of voices are heard during discussions and during the decision-making process. Boards employ a variety of strategies to achieve this. Some boards allow directors to play devil’s advocate in meetings, while others employ whiteboards to brainstorm ideas and spitball possible solutions before making a decision. This helps to remove decision-making from the nature of individuals and helps in avoiding groupthink.

Boards can boost their effectiveness if they are willing to challenge established practices. A lot of board members, for instance are looking at the committee structures. They question whether they serve their purpose and provide a reliable way to run meetings. They are seeking new ways to spot patterns and patterns that are hidden in data and digital tools.

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