Know your rubber band

Change of any type creates tension between what is and what wants to be. Change is like the tension in a rubber band. The way your board operates today is familiar, and yet a board may often discuss the need to change—and to become a high-performing board—yet still not take steps in that direction. Why?

Ray Davis, CEO of Umpqua Bank, wrote: “I believe that each of us has a rubber band with one end attached to our back side and the other nailed firmly to the wall of tradition. Even when we want to change, and do change, we tend to relax and the rubber band snaps us back into our comfort zone.”

Understanding your board’s conditioned tendencies–what Davis terms “the comfort zone”–is a major step toward change. When we help boards make transformative change toward being high- or higher-performing boards, a key first step is for every director to know what style the board has now.

We have developed an easy survey form, based on the work of Beverly Behan, that we use to help boards consider their current style of governing:

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