Nelda J. Connors — Founder & CEO at Pine Grove Holdings LLC, and Public Company Director was recently a panelist at Boards and Business Diversity: Actionable Ways to be Better Than Before. Nelda gives an example of the ‘Buddy System’ and why this is the best practice for new board members.
Watch what Nelda said in the video, or read excerpts below.
“I had an experience with a company a couple years ago that, once I was named to the board, they had a very in-depth orientation. Not just the people you would normally see, but other levels of the organization: their engineering lab, as well as plants to understand and have a debrief and have sort of a ‘touch and feel’ of the business before the first board meeting. They also assigned me a historian board member who had been there for many years, who could take me through ‘why things are they way they are,’ and fill in some blanks without me feeling embarrassed or not wanting to ask that question.
“They also had sort of a ‘Buddy System’ where, after the first few board meetings, I would have a debrief with another board member to talk about what they could do better. My having been on other boards, they were trying to improve themselves, so, what did I see that they could do differently? I was coming in with fresh eyes so that was good. On the other side, if there was anything in the way that they ran the board or the cadence, I would also have that ability to work with one other board member very specifically on the give and take. What I’ve seen and what they saw in me even, during that board meeting as to ‘don’t be afraid to ask the question’ or ‘throw it out there.’ They’ve given me a little bit of how they’re board works and what they want from me. I thought that was the best practice.”
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