In some ways, Boards can be said to have deficiencies designed in. They bring together very disparate individuals, often with opposing interests and views – and they have a difficult balancing act to meet. On the one hand, Boards are responsible for governance and assurance issues, such as short-term performance monitoring, whilst on the other, they have to focus on the future and set organisational strategy. To complete the picture, they are usually accountable to a set of external stakeholders. The result is a group dynamic full of tensions and paradoxes, all of which need to be alleviated or managed for the Board to lead the organisation effectively.
Coaching the whole Board may have similar objectives to individual leadership coaching, but it requires a completely different approach. The coach has to move the Board on from being a roomful of individuals with conflicting tensions imbued in their roles, responsibilities and dynamics to a highly effective, cohesive and agile social system able to cope with change and uncertainty to deliver success.
There are thousands of professional coaches in the UK, but of those only a tiny fraction have the skills and experience to coach whole Boards of Directors. Starr Performance is one of the few specialising in this niche area. Take a look at this case study for a detailed description of how Board Development works in practise.