The larger the company and more senior the Board Directors and Chairman, the lower the appetite to receive constructive criticism.
Although long-serving Directors will know their company inside out, they have reached a point where they are competent to challenge, but uncomfortable in receiving constructive criticism.
When “new blood”, as in new Directors or those with different skills are introduced, there is a natural resistance to these disruptive forces.
A Board evaluation can equally be uncomfortable where Directors are able to view themselves through the eyes of an outsider. All are perceived in some way or another as a threat.
Directors and particularly Chairmen can become entrenched in their ways; where they have been in the role for up to nine years, they have found a place of personal comfort and naturally do not want disruption during their “watch”. These human, emotional reactions are totally counter-intuitive to what we rationally know as a way to support continuous improvement.
It is always rewarding to see the healthy approach taken by some Directors when constructive comment is taken positively.
What’s your view on the tenure of Directors – Is nine years too long or not long enough, particularly in the case of the Chairman?