Board? No, not “Are you board?” Board of Directors.

I have been listening to talks lately that center around boards.  Boards of Directors.  This reminded me of two things.

1.  A single director is not the board
2.  All directors do not need to agree to make a decision by the Board

A single director is not the board

Why do we often blame an individual for the decisions of the board?  If the director you are looking at, agreed with or voted for that decision… Then have at it.   Blame them. That director contributed to the decision.  Thank the director or blame director, depending on what you believe.  But a director who voted against the decision, shouldn’t get the blame.  They tried to stop it. 

How about if you liked the board’s decision and that director voted gainst it?  Do you blame them then?

No!  They tried.  They lost. You got what you wanted.  Be gracious. Don’t deny your opponent the opportunity to disagree with you.  Especially since you won.

All directors do not need to agree to make a decision by the Board

Speaking of elected and non-corporate boards especially… The practice of “supporting a board decision” is overrated, overreached, and overinforced.

Sometimes boards will agree completely on a decisions.  But unanimous decisions are not likely to happen in every single decisions.  Some would even argue it’s not healthy for a group to ALWAYS be unanimous in its decisions.  So how do you treat it when some one dissents?

Should the losing votes pretend they believe in the decision?  Should the opposing director be silenced in support of an appearance of a united front?

Everyone should always support the rules and the process.  I don’t endorse breaking rules or disobedience.  But what I love about elected boards is the is a process for replacing those elected. 

People who disagree with a board’s decision should not be denied to speak up about their opinion.  They have should continue to speak up and attempt to persuade others.  They should try to get others to vote with them.  They should never be silenced.

Elected and non-profit boards might even consider getting a dissenting opinion on record.  Sorta like our U.S. Supreme Court.

One caveat… They should not interupt the process to do so.  Internet, blogs, Facebook, letters, etc… Go for it.  Speak up.  If people will listen, even better.

But it doesnt mean you have the right to interupt board meetings, to stop elections, or impose yourself in an existing agenda.  Use the process.  Every election process provides the opportunity to be heard at some point.