Building a Culture of Inquiry
Recently United Way Perth Huron held its annual Board Development Day. A day set aside to help shape the culture of our board, enhance relationships and plan for the future. This year we reviewed several challenging topics as it relates to the implementation of our Strategic Directions and our Community Impact Plan (important long range planning documents developed over the last two years). I’m ecstatic about how it went. Board members were incredibly engaged and I think it has everything to do with culture which has been stewarded around our Board table for many years. Nancy Axelrod, in her book Culture of Inquiry: Healthy Debate in the Boardroom says “Boards that foster a culture of inquiry are not afraid to question complex, controversial, or ambiguous matters or look at issues from all sides. A healthy culture of inquiry promotes thoughtful decision making, even when the decisions are tough ones.” We had our share of complex, even controversial decisions to make and I’m proud to say, although there is always room for improvement, our gang had an amazingly deep and productive conversation. For those of you who are on a Board, ask yourselves, “are we tackling tough issues in this manner”. If yes, congratulations. If not, give me a call or read Axelrod’s book. For those of you who are staff, ask yourselves “How can I promote this culture”. If things are well on the way, congratulations. If not, give me a call or read the book. All the best to everyone as you serve the community.
Ryan Erb, firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture of Inquiry by Nancy Axelrod: http://betterboards.net/resources/culture-inquiry-healthy-debate-boardroom/