The Board & Organizational Culture
The Board of Directors is responsible for directing the organization, for determining high-level priorities and setting the tone for achieving them.
When boards lead pro-actively they can role model passion for the mission, operational oversight, and staff appreciation. Boards who delegate over-arching policy decisions to the CEO, distance themselves from staff, and ignore underperformance can foster disenchantment. It is important for boards to be conscious of how they are influencing organizational culture if they wish to be at the helm of a healthy, high-performance organization.
Bank One was the sixth largest bank in the United States before merging with the second largest, J. P. Morgan Chase. Bank One grew from a small Columbus, Ohio, entity to a 13-state force under the leadership of a board that encouraged innovation, sound central policy, and decentralized day-to-day decision-making. The board set clear direction for the company, encouraged innovation, accepted staff failures as great learning experiences, and valued their staff’s ability to make daily decisions that aligned with company policy.
Does your board fulfill its leadership responsibilities? Does it inspire enthusiasm and excellence? Or does your board allow a culture of mediocrity and discord?