I suspect if any board member whose presence is a minority was asked about psychological safety where their skills and talents are valued, they enjoy mutual respect and trust and there is safety in conflict, they might suggest that the boardroom is a hotbed of microaggressions and not necessarily a place for safe risk taking. Just the opposite of what a good board room needs!
Over the past several decades, a significant amount of corporate scandal has erupted in the United States. This isn’t something to take lightly. It not only impacts brands but more importantly, the lives and pocketbooks of many people. Scandals add to the growing distrust of corporate America and even the nonprofit sector. Research has shown that there are structural constructs that play a role, but are they enough?
It has been suggested by scholars that understanding the cultural dynamics of a board drives improved ethics in governance. People are quickly realizing that it is a fundamental obligation of the board to oversee the culture and ethics of their organization and for the board itself.
A strong and healthy board-staff partnership is vital for an organization to have a positive impact. It acts as a catalyst for high performance. A weak or dysfunctional partnership only acts to impede the effectiveness of both the board and the executive.
We like the idea that a board with diverse perspectives is critically important. We are committed to the concept that each person will bring their own personal and professional contacts and life experiences to their service. And yet…it isn’t happening.
The easy answer of who is accountable for a diverse board is every director sitting on the board. But so far, that isn’t working. If we do what we measure, then it is time to make someone accountable.