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Board Game Changers: Why Reflection is Your Secret Weapon 

As a board member, your role goes beyond simply showing up and going through the motions. Fulfilling your fiduciary duties requires strategic decision-making. That means getting into the game, not just sitting on the sidelines. 

Think of it like reviewing game film after a competitive match. You carefully analyze every play, identifying both winning strategies and missed opportunities.   

Similarly, reflect on board meetings and activities to analyze, evaluate, and learn. 

Athletes need to review their performance to excel. So too, board reflection gives you the tools to work through complex situations.  

Through reflection, you gain the power to: 

  • Boost Board Effectiveness: Improve clarity on your lane and that of management’s. Ask yourselves: Where do we spend most of our time? Is it governing for the future? Or is it solving management issues?  
  • Manage Risks Proactively: Thinking about board performance helps you find potential risks early. Boards can then plan to reduce and protect against those risks. Ask yourselves: Do the board’s policies cover all unacceptable actions and situations? Does the board regularly monitor the performance of the organization/CEO? 
  • Develop Strategic Foresight: Knowing what’s new and what laws or rules are coming helps the board make smarter future choices. This positions the organization for success. Ask yourselves: Does the board stay informed through industry publications, conferences, and networking? Does the board prioritize time at its meetings to being future-focused? 
  • Drive Continuous Improvement: Reflection helps the board see areas where it can improve. It demonstrates that governing with excellence is a priority. Ask yourselves: Does the board have the right mix of skills and experience to guide the organization effectively? Does the board embrace learning, innovation, and continuous improvement?
  • Enhance Confidence: When your principal stakeholders see that board members take their role seriously, it builds trust in the board and the organization. Ask yourselves: Is the board demonstrating its accountability to its principal stakeholders? Does the board regularly connect with those principal stakeholders? Do they do so to understand their values and hopes for the organization? Does the board regularly evaluate its own performance in a transparent and clear way? 
  • Foster Diversity and Inclusion: Thinking carefully about governance issues and performance allows for open talks about whether the organization is operating in a fair and just manner. Creating a fair, inclusive, and welcoming organization is a top priority in today’s world. Ask yourselves: Do our policies express our values and the values of those on whose behalf we govern for fairness, diversity, and inclusion?  

Reflection is a valuable tool for informed decision-making.  By analyzing your actions, board members gain a deeper understanding of complex and tough issues. They find hidden insights and make decisions that ensure the long-term success of their organization. So, step up to the plate, embrace reflection, and become a game-changer for your board! 

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