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Fostering Emotional Intelligence in the Boardroom

October 19, 2017

Posted in: WATSON Speaks

Many a Board or Committee Chair has wrestled with how to get the most out of the skills and experience around the table. Directors are asking themselves, how can I contribute more at the meeting? As a whole, boards are challenging themselves to be smarter, more thoughtful and nimble in response to the issues facing their organization. The answer most likely lies in the “softer” part of our skill sets, rather than on the more easily defined areas of specific expertise – such as industry knowledge or technical know-how.

Liz led a conversation with panelists Mary Jordan, Board Chair of Vancouver Airport Authority and Larry Sullivan, CEO of Rogers Chocolates and director of several private companies at the  Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) breakfast session on Culture in the Boardroom – Fostering Emotional Intelligence.

ICD members on for-profit boards, private company boards, and NFPs explored questions that every board should be answering:

  • What does healthy Board culture look like?
  • What are some of the de-railers to healthy board culture?
  • What can a Board, or Committee Chair do to encourage a high-functioning culture?
  • What role does the Corporate Secretary play in supporting a strong and productive culture?
  • What are the particular challenges of constituent boards (where board members are elected by a particular stakeholder?)
  • Do term limits help?
  • Does effective performance management help, such as peer review process?
  • What about the challenges faced by NFPs with large boards, where some directors are there for their fundraising effectiveness?
  • Is “effective” congruent with pleasant?
  • How do you measure cultural fit when recruiting new directors?