Understanding board dynamics

Organisational failure is almost always deemed to be the result of poor governance. When things go wrong a board is – quite rightly – put under intense scrutiny.

However, high-performing boards are rarely given the credit they deserve. Most people in an organisation will not be familiar with Director’s names and responsibilities nor the skills and values that they bring.

In recent years, the Government and commerce have increased oversight regarding board compliance, effectiveness, accountability and transparency. There is now an expectation for boards to demonstrate that they actively encourage participation from under-represented groups to closer reflect the communities they serve.

Ideally everyone in any organisation should understand:

  • Who has the power;
  • Who takes the decisions;
  • Who is accountable;
  • How stakeholder voices can be heard.

Unfortunately, “The Board” is often a faceless group – to be either revered or treated with suspicion – with few people in the organisation having a clear understanding about how they function.

Does this relationship sound familiar – how well does your organisation interact with its governance?

Whilst the senior executive is likely to sit on or report to the board, all too often the relationship stops there.

This is not to be confused with becoming engaged in the operational day-to-day decisions, but to help the board reflect the views of the people they represent.

We have all become used to remote meetings and this provides the ideal opportunity to arrange sessions for different stakeholder groups to meet the board. Chairs should work with the clerk and executive to make this a regular occurrence to demystify the board’s work and to improve discourse at meetings.

At Peridot we take huge pride in the resource we put into searching for and identifying the right people. Remember, successful organisations are the result of good governance and everyone should feel part of that process.

To learn more about how we can support your board recruitment to help governance, please visit our Board Recruitment and Development and Trustee development and support pages.

Sally Lawson-Ritchie
Business Manager – Education Practice