Welcome to the February 2013 edition of The Director’s Dilemma.
This month our real life case study considers the options available to a non-executive director when faced with inadequate chairing and sub-optimal decision-making.
Consider: Which response would you choose and why?
Rhian is a director on a not-for-profit company board. She is very committed to the industry and is aware that there are several companies serving the same community interests as this board's organisation. She has never felt that the companies are in direct competition and has, rather, considered the others as allies in a common cause.
She has recently become aware that her board is not making the decisions they need to make in a timely fashion. There are changes mooted to the government subsidies available in the industry and the board needs to decide how they will respond. Rhian is aware that there are several possible strategies which could be followed but her board discusses these and never reach a decision.
She has approached the Chairman and expressed her concern. The Chairman’s response was that there was no need to worry; as long as the company kept trying to be helpful to the community things would work out and they had never had to change before. Something always happened to allow them to just continue as they always had.
Rhian is not convinced this is true. She fears that the other organisations will retain relevance whilst her board sit and talk and her company becomes less and less important to the industry and community. She now doesn’t know if she should stay on this board or if her enthusiasm and desire to have an impact would be better employed at one of the other companies in the industry.
How should Rhian handle this issue?