Creating Excellence in Board Leadership

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fatigue in the Boardroom

It happens more often than many board members want to admit. Most can stay focused and energized for 2-3 hours, but when agendas spill across an entire day fatigue is inescapable for the majority. When it arrives its subtle. A temptation to pull out the iPhone, Blackberry or Droid and check for new emails; a three minute brain-freeze and subsequent stare, after which there is a sudden awareness of no comprehension for what just transpired; a impulsive urge to get up and pace the room; a slight sense of irritability presents itself; a mental disconnect; finally and uncontrollably, eyelids fall shut.

What can be done to minimize boardroom fatigue?

1. Light in the room must be bright
2. Temperature on the cool side
3. Chairs must be padded and comfortable
4. Ample space in the room and between attendees
5. Video equipment with a high degree of lumens so dimming lights is unnecessary
6. Breaks for restroom, stretching, and refreshments every two hours
7. Board members who are well prepared and maintain an enterprising perspective
8. Humor that is encouraged but controlled
9. Chairperson who:
a. Manages the agenda assertively
b. Solicits input from every board member on every agenda item
c. Readily summarizes discussion and seeks consensus
d. Limits repeated input from those prone to dominate
e. Keeps agenda items within scheduled time limits
f. Maintains ready recall of board policies
g. Praises achievement demonstratively

While there are no means for eliminating fatigue, the above items can be of great assistance. Try them soon. Improvement should come quickly.

Logicboard offers an innovative and highly successful model for board leadership and governance. It brings detail and coaching to the items listed above. Contact us today for more information.
PO Box 5010 Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone:309-275-9734 or 309-287-0834