HEALING THE “POST-TRAUMATIC BOARDROOM”

(May, 2017) When a company suffers a major stress event — deaths, bankruptcy, criminal charges, natural disasters — it hits the employees, who may suffer personal trauma, anger, depression or detachment.  But does this “post traumatic” stress impact the board of directors too? Yes, says an article in the May issue of online monthly Boardroom INSIDER.  “Many directors tell me the peak experience they remember from serving on a board was not some brilliant success, but a time they faced major troubles,” writes BI publisher and governance speaker Ralph Ward.

The episodic, high-visibility role of board members leaves them particularly vulnerable to company traumas.  Disasters and challenges often take these part-time fiduciaries by surprise, forcing them to work through high-impact, complex emergencies with too little information and fellow board members who are only acquaintances.  “Like a 1970’s all-star disaster movie, this casual group must suddenly band together to battle through a crisis.”

The downside — board chemistry can turn into legal self preservation and navigating damaged relationships.  “Directors become stressed, distrustful, edgy, and often disengaged.” Director burnout and boardroom PTSD then add to the governance issues burdening company recovery.

Also in the May Boardroom INSIDER:

pink Five quick wins for improving family business governance.
pink The latest audit committee trends and tips.
pink Q&A: When your boss says No to joining a board.