Recently I have seen several organizations that are struggling with quality board member communication. Even when all the board members are passionate about the organization and have the common good at heart they are not experiencing the joys of being part of a high performing board team that leads the organization to great results.
One of the challenges is the lack of transparency between board members. In the interests of time efficiency board members aren’t spending the time needed to get to know each other well. On the surface the board members may trust each other, they believe that their colleagues are honest and well intentioned. However, their trust doesn’t go deep enough for them to risk sharing their thoughts, feelings, and gut reactions openly with each other. This too often leads to decisions that are only accepted at the head level. Board members leave the meeting not bought-in with their heart and therefore do not promote or enthusiastically support the board’s newly stated philosophy. The rest of the organization, in turn, does not get the message, and thus does not have the benefit of effective leadership. Even if the board’s decision was a quality one, there are no followers because the rest of the organization does not get the message. This lack of effective leadership significantly impedes results. Increased board member transparency leads to decisions that are accepted, more clearly communicated, and impact positive organizational results.