Individual has a concern

  • Identify the source and determine the real underlying issue.
  • Whose issue is it currently (does Policy leave it with the Board or the CEO)?
  • If it is the CEO’s you can recognize it and offer them any information or advice you have, knowing that they do not have to listen to it.
  • If it is the CEO’s now but you are still uncomfortable, you can bring it to the Board Chair or the full Board explaining why, even though it is the CEO’s issue, you still feel uncomfortable and ask them to help you think it through.
  • If it is a Board issue, bring it up to the Board Chair or request that it be added to the agenda following your standard process; share your concern and thinking and allow the Board to determine if the full Board now shares your concern. If so, address it in Policy by adding, editing or deleting.

Board has a concern

  • If it is an issue that has already been addressed in a Policy which you now feel is not accurately or completely captured, determine where and how to deal with it in the appropriate Policy (add, edit, etc.)
  • If it is an issue that has already been addressed in a Policy which you believe still accurately and completely captures your values but circumstances or CEO Monitoring cause you to be less than confident, use your monitoring schedule.
    • Increase the frequency of the internal report for the full Policy or one single lower level Policy lying under the broadest statement.
    • Add or change the method of Monitoring from just Internal to External or (in extreme cases) Direct.
    • NOTE: check to make sure that it is not really that you don’t like the reasonable interpretation (in which case you have to choose to ignore it or to change the Policy language to make it more specific)

Creating Group Wisdom
The reason that Board consists of several members is that there are many perspectives for any given matter. The Board’s job is to consider all it feels are pertinent and then make an informed decision. The Board’s work then is forming Group Wisdom. How do you do this?

  1. Assume that each person has a valid perspective.
  2. Seek to understand that perspective. Use open ended questions like:
    • “How did you arrive at that conclusion?”
    • “Could you walk me through your reasoning?”
    • “We seem to have different perspectives, lets try to find out what leads us to them?”
    • “Lets agree to what we do agree to and work from there?”
    • “Why is that important to you?”
  3. When each perspective is understood, develop criteria for choosing them which are appropriate to the question at hand.
  4. Seek win-win resolutions that may combine the interests of each perspective in new and creative ways.