“Culture retreats” for the board
– Boards should recruit for diversity, but then onboard to avoid assimilation.
– “Culture board retreats” are one way to accomplish that. During these retreats, the board can figure out how to work together, how to communicate, how – and where – decisions are and should be made.
I really dug this 28-minute video with Tanuja Dehne, President & CEO of The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and my friend Kathy Jaffari of Cozen O’Connor about “board diversity” practice tips. A few minutes in, Tanuja talks about how companies are now recruiting for diversity, but that boards should then onboard to avoid assimilation. Tanuja explains how “culture retreats” for the board might be beneficial. It’s a practice she fosters with the boards that she sits on. Board culture retreats.
During these retreats, the board can figure out how to work together, how to communicate, how – and where – decisions are and should be made. How is the board going to hold itself accountable? Determining all of these things is an intentional act.
It’s a matter of acknowledging where board decisions are truly being made. The important conversations that ultimately lead to big decisions. By recognizing that, the board can then decide whether to move those conversations off the golf course – or perhaps, broaden the group that is golfing together so that there is more inclusion. It’s about information control. Giving the space for everyone around the board table to ask questions, have input, to really be part of the team and have their voices heard.