Board Dynamics

Boards are composed of individual human beings and every board constitutes a unique combination of characters, skills, competences, virtues, values, drives, fear and joys that generates board specific dynamics.

Winter (2019)


Even though it sounds nice in theory, this is often not the reality. There are numerous anecdotes about all the things that can go wrong in a board of directors, examples of suboptimal, even enigmatic/unexplained decisions. What happens behind the doors of the board room is often concealed. This so-called “black box” of the board of directors intrigues many, has been proven highly controversial, and … gradually seems to reveal its secrets. 

The realisation that the board is composed of a ‘group of people’ is gaining more attention. In addition, the board is not just a collection of individuals but a complex social system. Just as with other groups, boards are also susceptible to the pitfalls of group dynamics. 

Board dynamics is complex and must take different levels of dynamics into account (individual and group). It is about processes, behaviour and emotions, interaction and influence, power differences, disagreements and conflicts, heuristics and biases, but also trust, cohesion and standards.   

Encouraging board dynamics in an appropriate way, starts with acknowledging these underlying dynamics! Therefore, board dynamics is an important theme on the research agenda of GUBERNA. Supported by scientific research GUBERNA hopes to create a greater awareness amongst its members while simultaneously helping them to improve their behavioural skills and giving them the tools they need to succeed. 

GUBERNA is convinced that board dynamics, while having the right focus and balance, will have a positive impact on the quality of decision making and on sustainable value creation. 

Publications about Board Dynamics