The Ed Eppley Experience
The Ed Eppley Experience

Episode · 6 months ago

Does Your Board Have Bad Behavior?


Not surprisingly, every group of people, be it a team, a business, or even a family has some dysfunction. What may surprise you is how dysfunctional a board can be. Especially a board of directors. In this minilog I explain why boards have this dysfunction and how you can help your board members better behave. And as a result, make it possible for them to better help you and your business. Remember, if your board is misbehaving, you owe it to them and yourself to help them be their best selves.

Welcome to the AED apple experience. Mini log. Let professional management expert Ed aple inspire you to take action on building a more sustainable, smart and healthy business. Does your board have bad behavior? That's the question on today's many log with me at Epley. Here on the at Epley experience, I recently met with the board of directors for a probably a pretty well known company. Many of you probably have that product in your home. But the issue really came down to this board of directors was not behaving their best and it was not bad intent, it was not lack of competency. It was simply that no one had ever had a discussion with them, nor had they discussed among themselves how they should behaving to be their most effective selves, collectively and individually...

...for the CEO of this business. So we had that conversation with this group of Board of directors and it made me think that this is something I should probably share with you, because many of you have your own boards or you're on a board. Maybe outside of the business. It could be for a charitable organization, but if you're on a board of directors, this is something you probably need to think about doing. If your board is less than optimal. First of all, there needs to be a conversation about what's our purpose? Are we in the business of governance? Are we trying to help the business operate? And some companies, some entities, do need help in operations because the executive, if especially not for profits, don't necessarily have a full range of professional management experience. So they may be relying on you as board members in that instance to provide operational guidance, which means the meeting is going to have a much different conversation than if you're all about governance and instead of operations. So that would be number one. What's our purpose as a board?...

Are we helping to operate the business? Are we simply trying to govern it? Secondly, when there is a need for discussion and debate, there needs to be a clear understanding of what does affective debate and dialog look like. Most board members tend toward artificial harmony and what that means is they will not say honestly what's in their head or their heart about a given topic for fear of offending or, in many cases, derailing the the conversation. You know, they don't want people to be uncomfortable. So there's a maturity that has to be developed, a muscle, if you will, that needs to be worked and grown for boards to be able to understand what that looks like and that it's not only okay but desirable. In most cases. There also has to be alignment about the vision for the entity, the organization, and so often what I see in these boards is that there's a legitimate difference of opinion about what we're trying to create and consequently it will be almost impossible to...

...get alignment about decisions and unanimity about what should happen. That is not necessarily wrong, but most people want it to be unanimous. But if you're not discussed the importance of the boards being able to help the CEO, the president, the owner if you will be able to make the best decisions they should, then they might fall into the trap of believing if we're not all in agreement, that we shouldn't make the decision, which obviously that's not generally what we want to have happened last there needs to be clear expectations between the board and the President or CEO about what outstanding performance are excellent performance should look like. So one there needs to be clear performance standards of expectation for the CEO or president by the Board. So they need to make it clearly understood that when these conditions, whatever they are, are occurring, the CEO President would know that they are being successful. Likewise, there should be clear standards of...

...performance for the board about how they'll know when they're being supported doing the right things for the entity as well as the CEO or president. And again, most times those are not clearly understood or stated. I was shocked in this recent example that I shared with you, when the client actually the founder of the business. When we got done, she said to me, you know, no one had ever explained to me before what I should be doing as a member of this board. And this is a four five hundred million dollar company, and that poor person had been allowed to struggle in her role as a board member because no one had ever had a conversation about what really she should be contributing to make sure that she was doing the right things for the board to be as successful as possible. So don't you fall into that trap. If you want more information about this, reach out to me at Ed at the EPLEI GROUPCOM and I'll share more specifics for you and your situation, but don't tolerate bad board behavior. Your job is to make sure that you get them to operate at the highest level possible. Thanks for being with me... We'll be back with another minilog very soon. Thanks for listening to the ED epley minilog. visit www the eply groupcom for resources, tips, ED's latest blogs and a free assessment on where to improve your professional management skills.

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