van Gelder & Monk were highly successful in helping the ADAVB to clarify the director attributes and behaviours we agree are most conducive to effective deliberation. The complex factors which influence the decision making culture of an organisation can be daunting for external parties to grapple with, but with their customary clear thinking and analytical skill Tim and Paul ensured we had an honest and constructive look at what we actually do when we make decisions.
So often governance workshops talk about the requirements of directors, especially their roles and responsibilities, and fail to come to grips with the practicality of working together to make good decisions. Our facilitated discussion about what constitutes a good decision, in terms of both process and outcomes, was especially engaging. Their S.O.C.I.A.L. (Situation, Options, Considerations, Individual Judgment, Aggregation, Leading to Decision) model offered a helpful framework for considering how best to reshape our behaviours to achieve more effective deliberation at Board level, and we now expect that to flow on to our committees and support structures.
Use of dialogue mapping in the workshop also helped our directors to recognise how easily they can be distracted from the purpose of discussion on an agenda item by tangential debates and personal perspectives. Their requirement that delegates “speak to the map” when offering ideas, questions, pros and cons, was an outstanding illustration of how to maintain focus, while capturing the diverse input of all contributors to the discussion, and ultimately aiding all participants to see the weight of argument supporting the preferred decision.
This was one of our most engaging and meaningful director development activities, and we have done many over the years. Highly recommended for any board of directors.
CEO, Australian Dental Association Victoria Branch
CEO / Secretary, eviDent Foundation