A dysfunctional board of directors can cause multiple challenges for any organization.
Industry leaders, celebrities, and subject experts often make up Boards. Many of these individuals are not accustomed to having their opinions challenged. So while they may add credibility, there’re not always a mutual fit.
Dysfunction arises when:
- Individual behaviors, cognitive biases, decision-making styles and communication styles are not in sync.
- Decisions are inconsistent or simply not made.
- Board members have conflicting agendas.
- There is lack of leadership from the Chair, no mutual respect and lack of trust.
- Individuals react inappropriately under pressure.
- Boardroom bullies are not managed or members just sit back and watch.
A 2009 Gallup Research paper revealed a 70% productivity gain when groups of people working together understood and were able to close the behavior performance gap. This study holds true today.
Every board plays an integral role in the success of the organization. When Board members are dysfunctional and not engaged, the flow on to the organization can be significant.
5 Steps to managing boardroom behavior.
- Commit to being behaviorally smart in the boardroom.
- Use a validated natural discovery process to assess key personality traits.
- Use the outcomes to build a balanced relationship between all players.
- Appoint a highly skilled facilitator to work with individual directors to understand communication and behavioral styles.
- Commit to building a culture of understanding, acceptance, and respect.
Understanding different personalities can lead to better decision-making. Directors cannot fulfill their responsibilities in a boardroom where a few dysfunctional members are allowed to control the meeting or obstruct board decision-making.