Board effectiveness conversations are always peppered with the conversation around “challenge”. What is actually meant by challenge is to constructively ask questions of the management and topics in question to determine that all the right considerations have been taken account of, to offer insights and value to the conversations depending on the information being received to questions.
Cohesion is a double-edged sword. Too much and we have trouble, and too little and again we have trouble.
Imagine a Board that is so cohesive, there a consistent group think and what the Chairman or CEO state is what is “decided”.
Imagine a Board that has no cohesion, no alignment to a common goal and weak chairmanship, decision making will be difficult and drawn out.
Aligned to the cohesion continuum is assessment of risk. A Board that has ineffective cohesion will inevitably have weak risk maturity and alertness to existing and emerging risks. This is often because the risk antennae are that of one person, not that of the collective minds.
Another way to describe the ends of the continuum is “group think” risk where there is too much cohesion to “chaos” where there is no cohesion.
Let us review “cohesion” from several standpoints:
In order to answer this question, it is important to establish what the objectives set in the first place were? Very often, this is not clarified between the Chairman and the Board Evaluator in the beginning which is a missed opportunity to define achievements gained in the process.