- Good governance involves inclusive leadership – including factors such as exploring diversity representation in the composition of the team and being aware of any ‘unconscious bias’ towards group think
- It can sometimes be daunting for those with minority representation to speak up and there’s where an inclusive culture can help by inviting and welcoming a diversity of perspectives and experiences.
Committees often specifically recruit members based on the diversity of experience, perspectives or skills mix of the team. This is because it allows for better problem-solving and decision-making. But it is exactly that diversity that also gives rise to situations that challenge the group’s thinking. Given the small size of committees, you may also sometimes feel that you’re in a minority group of perspectives which can also feel uncomfortable.
There is growing recognition of the value in experiences with multiple perspectives arising from greater Inclusiveness and diversity – connecting ideas in new ways, and considering different approaches or options. But it takes more time, isn’t as easy as managing clear consensus, and can give rise to subtle or not-so-subtle frustration about not just ‘going with the flow’. The flipside for governance is that if the committee just goes along with ‘group think’ due to a fear of the discomfort of raising another perspective, important opportunities for better options or potential risk issues aren’t put on the table.
Having a reflection ‘ check-in’ process that helps the group consider or be aware of any ‘unconscious bias’ towards group think and our individual assumptions is one way of helping bring to the forefront the ‘how’ in the group’s decision-making.
Spend time reflecting on the different perspective your fellow Board members and how that helped decision making.
Want more? ... check out these resources
Factsheet – our community.com – 5 minutes
Our Community has this thoughtful advice: “Towards a More Diverse Board” which will help you take action to expand diversity on the Board.
Article – DIY Committee Guide – 5 minute read
Scroll down to see the list of actions organisations are taking to increase accessibility and reduce barriers to taking up a Board position and consider if any are right for you.