| Author's Name: Stephen Lake
Date: Sun 06 Sep 2015
It is generally accepted that board members should be able to discuss, analyse, review and then agree on any issue that they are debating in the board room. However, there may be circumstances where such an outcome cannot be achieved, so what are the options for dissenting members?
Given that board members are required, at all times, to act in the best interests of the organisation they govern, it is not unrealistic to expect that consensus should be achieved on each matter put forward to the board to resolve.
Diversity of opinion is encouraged, for through such diversity more perspectives should be identified and then each alternative viewpoint can be assessed and judged on its individual merits. However, situations may arise whereby an individual board member feels so strongly about a particular issue and the proposed decision that he / she is not able to support the direction the board wishes to take on the matter. What can the board member do in this case?
It would be unfortunate if a situation arose that required an individual board member to take such action. Conflict at board level creates an unhealthy environment for both board members and senior management. Effective boards encourage robust discussion, detailed analysis and clear thinking, all of which should enable a group of individuals focused on the same outcome to arrive at a decision that is best for the organisation – this is a key component of good governance.