The Human factor in boards – key learnings
At GUBERNA, we identified the increased attention for the human factor in boards as one of the trends of the Covid-year 2021 in academic research and media reporting. Our GUBERNA Summer School of 2021 translated this theme into a focus on board dynamics. Together with our participants, we studied the multiple levels and ways that board dynamics impact decision-making and thought processes. We received input by international speakers and exchanged experiences.
We also presented the results of a study on board dynamics amongst Belgian directors. The study was based on a questionnaire for which we reached out to our GUBERNA members. We asked the respondents to reflect on 22 statements and to indicate how applicable they consider them to their boards. The answers on the questionnaire gave us insights in the board dynamics and the wellbeing of Belgian directors. In total, we received 89 valid questionnaires that were analysed in our framework.
We reached 5 conclusions that were discussed during our Summer School:
We advocate professionalism in board dynamics: high norms and standards are the first step towards creating a climate of trust and positive interactions. This climate is vital to come to an engaging and constructive debate, without fear for possible challenges. The decisions that follow such discussions will ideally be shared by everyone of the board and will make the board stronger and resilient for future challenges.