Director Handbooks

Board Dynamics: How to Get Results from Your Board and Committees

By NACD Staff


Board Dynamics Agenda Planning

As directors, both of us know the importance of board dynamics—how directors interact as a board. We know, based on our experience, that these dynamics can be the key to a board’s effectiveness. As one participant stated at a recent multi-stakeholder dialogue on boards hosted at the Columbia School of Business, “Poor boardroom dynamics cause most of our problems.

Authority is concentrated among too few, and there is too much deference to authority.” Another participant had this to say: “Boards need to empower individual directors. Too often, a director will raise a concern about a motion on the table, and the response is, ‘Thank you for sharing. Do we have a second for the motion? All in favor? Next.’” These statements are about concentration of power and groupthink—just two of the many problems facing boards as decision-making groups. Solving just these problems alone would go a long way to improving board effectiveness by changing boardroom dynamics.

Improving the quality of boardroom dynamics, however, requires that other aspects of board practices change as well. Specifically, the preparation before meetings and the follow-up after are equally critical for an effective board that can also enjoy its work.

Member-Only Content

For full access, please log in, or explore membership options.