Looking for new people to appoint on your boards, committees, and commissions for next year? Why not take a closer look on how you can diversify the board to attract the best set of talent.
We all know the benefits of a diversified group of people that are aligned on a specific task, goal, project or mandate. Intelligent organizations harness, cultivate, and encourage this diversification in order that the fruits of real collaboration, creativity, and non-linear thinking are reaped.
Some of these benefits are:
1. Diverse Boards bring added value and competence
Boards that come from diverse backgrounds in terms of age, ethnicity, faith, ability, educational attainment, occupation and socio-economic level have a differentiated understanding of the social realities that civic and voluntary organizations face on a day-to-day basis. They are keen in generating solutions to complex problems through creative appraisal and through their own exposure from their ethno-cultural or social environments. These cultural and social intelligence add a dimension to creative problem solving and collective decision-making work.
2. Diverse Boards expand the horizon of the organization
Organizations undergoing strategic planning or long-term organizational change management can benefit from a diverse set of committee members. They provide the “eyes and ears” of the organization from the wider communities of practitioners and a strategic outreach to the expertise, experience and contacts the organization needs in order to achieve its strategic/business plan and projects. With the right combination of expertise in the Board, the organization will have the potential to ‘stretch’ itself to be flexible and viable especially during financial hardship and/or leadership/organizational crisis.
3.Diverse Boards challenge the status quo
Diverse boards bring to the table a variety of perspectives that may challenge the ‘usual’ way of doing and looking at issues. They are confident about their experiences, perspectives, and insights coming from their unique backgrounds and life/work experiences that will bring to bear in formulating new paradigms of practice and skills necessary to navigate governance and leadership issues as they arise.
4. Diverse Board is a project of the whole organization
The Executives and the members of the organization should endeavor to find the right mix of diversity within their Board at a given time. It takes conscientiously effort in bringing the combination of expertise, experience, and diverse backgrounds that will complement the organizations’ capacity and ability to manage change in a sustainable way. The organization should be ready and able to embrace a diversifying set of governance leaders that are equally empowered to make change happen. This diversification can take years until its place is secured in the values and best practice of the organization.
Are you ready to take on a diverse board? Is your organization ready to reap the rewards from it? Not yet, check out my next blog on what to do.
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