How can boards and members of boards reach their full potential? The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) has been at the forefront of thinking about organizations 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.
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 @ 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.
Edited by programme co-directors Dr Mannie Sher and Dr Leslie Brissett and their fellow Tavistock Associate Tazi Lorraine Smith, and with contributions from senior leadership practitioners and board evaluators from the government, international consultancy firms, FTSE 100 and global UN institutions, this book speaks directly to issues of our time. It represents essential reading for leaders of organizations and businesses, as well as leadership coaches and mental health professionals.
Table of Contents
Homage: Edward Craft of Wedlake Bell LLP; Introduction to Dynamics @ Board Level (Mannie Sher and Leslie Brissett); Part I: Introduction: Dynamics; 1. Group dynamics and enhancing board eff ectiveness (Ashley Harshak) 2. Improving board dynamics: towards a balanced framework (Joe Binnion); 3. Mastering group dynamics: embedding a learning and coaching culture in board work (Vincent H. Dominé); 4. Board dynamics: a powerful tool to deal with uncertain times (Beatriz Boza); Part II: Process, growth and performance; 5. Caught between vision and memory – the impact of high growth on board dynamics (Wayne Mullen); 6. The driving dynamic, board performance and role (Toy Odiakosa); 7. High-performing boards – exploring the influence of unconscious behaviours (Paul Schanzer); 8. Decision-making – the no.1 dysfunction impacting the effectiveness of boards (Martin Palethorpe); 9. Board dynamics as an explanation for the rejection of the role of HR director from the boardroom (Rachael Etebar); 10. Modern boards (Grant Taylor); Part III: Introduction: States of mind; 11. Being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts: the application of negative capability in the board (Steven Phillips); 12. The importance of not being earnest: the role of humour in the boardroom (Paula Wilson); 13. Narcissism and boards (George Fischer-Varvitsiotis); 14. Competition, corruption and collusion: the quest for power (Tammy Noel); 15. Board effectiveness: learning to and from experience (Toya Lorch); Part IV: Case illustrations; 16. Joining charity boards: consequences for board performance and future improvement (David Strudley); 17. Birth of a board – a public sector perspective (Janette McCrae); 18. The Caspian Sea housing company: the role of board member in a two-family business (Thomas Brull); 19. Corruption, leader narcissism and the dynamics of board governance: the case of Marks & Spencer, 1999–2000 (Anand Narasimhan); 20. The Finnish tango: a study of boards in north eastern Europe (Anja Salmi); 21. A view from the top: a CEO’s reflections (Paul Duggan); References; Index
Leslie Brissett, JP, PhD, is Company Secretary, Principal Consultant/Researcher and Director of the Group Relations Programme at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.
Mannie Sher, PhD, is Principal Researcher and Consultant in organizational development and change and an executive coach at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.
Tazi Lorraine Smith, BSc, DipPFS, is a management consultant in healthcare.
"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 Banker, 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 of FulcrumLeaders.com, Ambassador, International Integrated Reporting Council
"The governance of organisations 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 organisations." Lord Victor Olufemi Adebowale, Chair, Social Enterprise UK, Board Member, Co-op Group CEO, Turning Point