How can boards and members of boards reach their full potential?
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) has been leading thinking about organisations since its inception in 1947. Today, as then, the corporate world is undergoing increasing pressure to demonstrate a sustainable, generative and meaningful impact on society and employees whilst delivering improved services and products. These tensions and others are explored in this important new book, Dynamics at Boardroom Level: A Tavistock Primer for Leaders, Coaches and Consultants.
The Tavistock Institute has provided board-level information and guidance for the International Corporate Governance Network, the government-initiated Walker Review following the Banking Crisis, as well as corporate and public sector clients and executives across the world. In this book, the reader gets a useful framework of theory and practice that broadens vision and deepens thinking about what is happening in boardrooms. The book opens the door to the reader to a new world of board dynamics, edited by those who really understand the deeper workings of the complex human system and its work at board level. This edited volume brings together the insights and contemporary case studies from participants on the Tavistock Institute Dynamics at Board Level programme that draws on the thinking of Tavistock scholars and practitioners and their work on the dynamics of task, role, authority and power.
Programme Co-Directors Dr Mannie Sher and Dr Leslie Brissett and their fellow Tavistock Associate, Tazi Smith, have edited a book that speaks directly to issues of our time. The contributing authors are senior leadership practitioners and board evaluators from Government, International consultancy firms, FTSE 100 and Global UN institutions.
Dynamics at Boardroom Level represents an essential resource for business leaders as well as leadership coaches and mental health professionals.
"The approach of Boards vary for obvious reasons - the character of a company’s business, the need for public or democratic involvement, a role in supervising wider membership organisations. Yet they need strong, common attributes as well. They should represent and sustain a strong, positive culture, be transparent and as accountable as possible and capable of holding executives to account. For all this complexity too few Boards are effectively guided about their internal dynamics or dynamic relationships with others. It is a gap of considerable importance, a source of risk. This book and The Tavistock Institute approach are an essential addition to Board capabilities." --Lord David Triesman, Chairman, a Merchant and Investment Bank, Former chairman of a PLC, The Football Association, and Government Minister
"The world is at a tipping point and this book is a timely and welcome reminder of the vital need for leaders, in both the organisational and political spheres, to have an understanding of the powerful unconscious forces that can derail any board. It comes at a time too when governance codes are demanding increasingly, and rightly imposing, behavioural requirements for board members. This book should be on the reading list for all leaders who want a deeper awareness of what happens below the surface when group members interact." --Mitzi Wyman, LLM, MSc, Founder Fulcumleaders.com, Ambassador, International Integrated Reporting Council
"The governance of organizations has never been more important as the demands of an increasingly complex world draw us into considering role, group dynamics, systems, values and outcomes. Boards and how they operate are at the centre of the complex mix of interactions and how boards function what makes them ‘tick’ has never been more important. This book is a valuable contribution to understanding board functioning and thus the making of better organizations." --Lord Victor Olufemi Adebowale, Chair, Social Enterprise UK, Board Member, Co-op Group CEO, Turning Point
List of Charts and Figures
Foreword by Susan Long
About the editors and contributors
Homage: Edward Craft of Wedlake Bell LLP by Leslie Brissett & Mannie Sher
Introduction to Dynamics @ Board Level by Leslie Brissett & Mannie Sher
Introduction to Part I - Dynamics
Group dynamics and enhancing board effectiveness by Ashley Harshak
Improving board dynamics towards a balanced framework by Joe Binnion
Mastering group dynamics embedding a learning culture by Vincent H. Dominé
Board Dynamics A powerful tool to deal with uncertain times by Beatriz Boza
The role of consultant challenged by national dynamics by Maria Claudia Benassi
Introduction to Part II - Process, Growth & Performance
Caught Between Vision and Memory - the impact of High-Growth on Board Dynamics by Wayne Mullen
The Driving Dynamic, Board Performance and Role by Toy Odiakosa
High-performing boards – Exploring the influence of unconscious behaviours by Paul Schanzer
Decision-making - the no.1 dysfunction impacting the effectiveness of boards by Martin Palethorpe
Board Dynamics as an Explanation for the Rejection of the Role of HR Director from the Boardroom by Rachael Etebar
Modern Boards by Grant Taylor
Introduction to Part III - States of mind
"…Being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts": The Application of Negative Capability in the Board by Steven Phillips
The Importance of Not Being Earnest - The role of humour in the boardroom by Paula Wilson
Narcissism and Boards by George Fischer-Varvitsiotis
Competition, Corruption and Collusion: The Quest for Power by Tammy Noel
Board Effectiveness: Learning to and from Experienceby Toya Lorch
Introduction to Part IV - Case Illustrations by Joining charity boards: Consequences for board performance and future improvement by David Strudley
Birth of a board – a public sector perspective by Janette McCrae
The Caspian Sea Housing Company: The Role of Board Member in a Two-Family Business by Thomas Brull
Corruption, leader narcissism and the dynamics of board governance: The case of Marks & Spencer, 1999-2000 by Anand Narasimhan
The Finnish Tango: A study of boards in North Eastern Europe by Anja Salmi
A view from the top, a CEO’s reflections by Paul Duggan