When companies are dysfunctional and a poor workplace culture develops, the role the Board plays is often overlooked. Great leadership and positive workplace culture requires effective strategic governance from boards.
Often people are drawn to give back to their communities which leads many to explore volunteering on boards of their local sports clubs, community services, special interest groups and social services. Often members have similar interests, socioeconomic and cultural background and when a lack of diversity exists group think can flourish.
Group think is a psychological phenomenon which occurs when a group of people prioritises group cohesiveness and consensus, which overrides critical thinking. The very essence of good board governance requires its members to question and challenge, even if this goes against the status quo, as this is what builds strong and effective strategic management.
When boards are behaving badly, they are often immersed in group think, which is exacerbated by domineering personalities who assume power over the group. This can often create an environment where board members do not feel comfortable raising issues, not wanting to have an unpopular opinion.
Another issue often present in dysfunctional boards is the lack of understanding about what the role of a board member has within an organisation. Without this understanding, board members often involve themselves in the day-to-day operations of the business, which has negative implications for staff and management whose role it is to manage operations. Board directors need to understand their roles are about organisational governance and strategic direction.
If dysfunction exists at the board level, there are several interventions that can be of support, culture reviews (see linked article for more information), restorative conferencing, developing a skills matrix to see what skills exist on the board and the ones required, review of the board constitution and governance training.
Good board governance leads to effective strategic planning and whole organisation focus which in turn supports a healthy and positive workplace for staff and board members.
For more information about the services and support available from Wise Workplace, reach out to our team at [email protected].