We had a board meeting recently. Our esteemed chairman failed certain key insight tests:
- He considered my shirt to be too loud (overruled by the girls in the office)
- He didn’t understand some of the subtleties of our business
There is no hope for him on the first failure, and we intend to do nothing to increase his understanding of our business.
We don’t want him to understand it as well as we do because then he would see it like us. We would then miss out on the valuable insights he brings us because he doesn’t have any idea why we can’t or why that particular idea is too difficult to apply to us. He just says he thinks we need to [insert challenging step here].
He also thinks we’re pathetic when we try to explain to him why we can’t. We tried getting away with just agreeing and trying to move on, but he’s too smart for that one – he can spot a fob-off from a mile away (we suspect he practiced most of them when he worked in corporates).
We’ve learned it’s easier to engage, try to understand what he sees for us, and think about how we might implement something we hadn’t really considered.
He asks us to get out of our sandpit, stop playing with our toys, and have a look at the wider playground.
It’s a bugger really. We always leave the meeting feeling slightly confused as to what just happened there and how come we’ve ended up being challenged to step up our thinking again when we thought it was going to be a nice quiet non-eventful board meeting.