Board service is an excellent opportunity to step away from your daily business routine and improve your ability to consider an organization as an entire entity, not only the functional areas you’ve supervised in the past. You’ll also be exposed to a broader variety of problems and issues faced by businesses. You may be faced with tough decisions that will affect people negatively, such as deciding on redundancies or closing down the branch. These situations teach you how to think objectively and not be influenced by your own feelings or those of your colleagues.
Another issue that is raised is how to ensure a broad range of voices are heard in deliberations and during the decision-making process. Boards use a variety of techniques to achieve this. Some boards encourage directors to play devil’s advocate during meetings, whereas others utilize whiteboards to brainstorm ideas and spitball possible solutions before making any decisions. This frees the decision-making process from individual personalities and could assist in avoiding groupthink.
Boards can boost their effectiveness if they are willing to question long-standing practices. For instance, a lot of board members are looking at their committee structures. They are questioning whether they serve their purpose and are the most effective method of running a meeting. They are examining innovative ways to identify trends and insights that can be hidden in data and digital tools.