Because boards are ever-changing entities, they often go through phases of effectiveness. Some phases might include sharp financial growth and strong teamwork between directors and management.
Other phases might include the exact opposite.
And still others could be a combination of the two—both positives and negatives. Once in a while, though, you may find yourself on a board that is essentially broken. What do we mean by broken?
Put simply, we mean that because of one or more internal issues, the board is unable to operate with its highest goal (shareholder benefit) in mind.
Here are some signs that you might be serving on a dysfunctional board. Don’t worry, though; all hope is not lost! In fact, here we’ve got some tips for how you can help bring your board back to life.
Lean on parliamentary procedure
Are you having trouble getting through a basic meeting because of clashing agendas or antagonistic discussions? In this instance, it’s important for boards to turn to their parliamentary procedures; in the U.S. these procedures will typically follow Robert’s Rules of Order. The board chair will have to take an extremely active role in overseeing this process.
They will need to conduct themselves with as much neutrality as is possible in order to establish an environment where discussion and voting can occur within the appropriate constraints.