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on 22 May 2017 6:13 PM
  • Strategy

Do you struggle to get things done with a board that’s constantly looking over your shoulder? Your board might not be to blame. Robert Nelson at NSC Consulting tells us about the other side of the coin in this week’s post …

CEOs are not always innocent when it comes to boards engaging in micromanagement. In fact, CEOs are sometimes culpable in creating and sustaining such behavior and are most often in a position to refocus boards on true board level work and what really matters. If you are tired of your board’s micro management and you want create change, you must be willing to make undertaking such change a priority and be intentional about doing so.

In some cases, a dramatic change in culture is required. In other cases, it’s more a matter of changing the behavior of some individual board members. Of course, the first step is to determine why your board micro manages. In other words, the first step is defining the root problem(s) / cause(s). Once you have done this you can craft a strategy and a plan to transition your board’s culture or change the behavior of a few. Toyoda’s 5 Whys and an Ishikawa Diagram are two methods you can use to determine root causes.

As you consider root causes, also ask yourself: What am I doing, or not doing, that may be contributing to Board micro management? Be brutally honest in answering this question.

The next step it to create your change strategy. This begins with creating a vision of the future state you are seeking and identifying the barriers that will impede that change. Likewise, you will want to identify factors (driving forces) in the current environment that can be exploited to facilitate moving toward the future state. Craft your strategy in a manner that strengthens the driving forces and weakens the barriers.

Although your strategy and associated tactics will be dependent on the root causes you uncover, following are eleven tactics that are often engaged to diminish or eradicate board micro management:

If you have a board that micromanages and you are contemplating setting out on a journey to change your board’s culture or behavior, the road will be easier if you’ve cultivated a strong partnership with the Board chair. Likewise, it is always helpful to have 5 – 10 percent of your board on board as champions for change.

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About the Author

Robert Nelson, Nelson Strategic ConsultingRobert Nelson, a Certified Association Executive (CAE), brings over a quarter-century of successful executive leadership experience, working with Boards and high-powered CEOs in a not-for-profit setting. He is the founder of Nelson Strategic Consulting and brings hands-on experience guiding and facilitating the design of strategy development processes and think tanks. His focus on organizational strategies and strategic solutions to complex organizational and global grand challenges for national as well as international organizations.

Contact Robert through his website, or learn more about Nelson Strategic Consulting at www.nscstrategies.com.