Thoughts on … Boards

It is said of a Board that its first priority is to the organization – whether corporation or other form. And if so, beyond mere “shareholders”, the Board’s first priority is to hold the space for the Purpose. Fiscal probity and prudence are important, as is compliance and the practical “hire and/or fire the CEO”. But the Board must first attend and then hold fast to why the organization exists in the first place. It is the Board that is to be the primary custodians of the organization’s Purpose. In practice, everything derives from this primary accountability, for if the Purpose is worthy then the organization, business or other, has good reason to exist. Decisions of strategy, performance, personnel and compliance rest within the context of Purpose – without Purpose, the Board has no reference against which to set standards, goals and report against expectations of various stakeholders. Boards are the ultimate stewards of Purpose.