Strategies for Promoting an Effective Board Culture

Posted on Jul 17, 2012

The ideal board culture encourages full discussion of issues, values different viewpoints and protects confidentiality.

To promote and support a strong board culture, boards should:

1. Agree on the role of the board and management to avoid miscommunication with respect to delegated authority and the board’s participation in decision-making.

2. Understand the value and the limits of constructive tension between the board and management.

3. Agree on valued behaviors that are consistent with a positive board environment, including:
• Respect for the expertise and viewpoints of other directors, advisors and management;
• Open discussion and debate;
• Consensus after engaging in full and informed discussion;
• Trust among directors and between directors and management;
• Protection of confidences; and
• Attention to time constraints and board member schedules.

4. Periodically evaluate board culture.
5. Remind directors of confidentiality obligations.