Obviously Policy Governance doesn’t eliminate confrontation and a board may
be confrontational simply because of its style or makeup of personalities.
However, in general Policy Governance is less confrontational than
traditional board governance. There are several reasons for this. The most
important one is that Policy Governance creates less avoidance behavior
because issues are raised earlier and they are raised by the executive
rather than the board. Monitoring increases the flow of critical
information in a timely fashion, reducing confrontational situations. Even
when there is a disagreement, such as a whether something is a reasonable
interpretation or not, Policy Governance is more likely to create a dialogue
than a confrontational exchange.
second factor that reduces the chance of confrontation is that the dialogue
is between the executive and the whole board rather than between the
executive and individual board members. Certainly this doesn’t eliminate
all confrontation but it is much more difficult for a group to be
confrontational than an individual. The executive doesn’t have to please
ever individual which is sometimes an impossible task. The executive only
has to please the group, which in Policy Governance has a real voice through
the written policies.
Governance reduces confrontation not by making people be nice to each other
but by providing a system that reduces the situations that give rise to
Lynn A. Walker, Ph.D.
Boundary Management Consulting
12411 McKelvey Road
St. Louis MO 63146-2929
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