Diversity within your organizations govenance level brings a level of competence, expertise necessary to carry the organization forward.
There are specific gains and advantages in bringing a fully diverse Board into the organization. Some of these benefits are the following:
- 1. Diverse Boards bring added value and competence
Boards that come from diverse backgrounds such as age, ethinicity, religion, ability, educational attainment and socio-economic level have higher levels of understanding of the social realities that civic and voluntary organizations face on a day-to-day basis. They are keen to generating solutions to complex problems through creative appraisal and through their own exposure from their ethno-cultural or social environments that bring them to a variety of scenarios that will add a dimension to creative problem solving and collective decision-making process.
- 2. Diverse Boards expand the horizon
Organizations undergoing strategic planning or long-term organizational change management will benefit from a diverse set of Board directors. They provide the “eyes and ears” of the organization from the wider communities of practitioners and act as 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 commitment 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 commplement 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 sometimes take years until its place is secured in the values and best practice of the organization.
For more information about Diversifying your Board, visit Maytree Foundations’ DiverseCity on Boards project website, click here
Reference: Maytree DiverseCity on Boards
Photo Credit: Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey