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Richard Chambers: Corporate Governance – 7 Signs of an Unhealthy Board Culture

I write and lecture often about the risks of an unhealthy or toxic culture. Last year, I was honored to partner with longtime friend Cynthia Cooper to publish research undertaken for AuditBoard on “Internal Audit’s Role in Unlocking Culture as a Catalyst and 21st Century Differentiator.”

One of our findings was that boards are generally not seen as having a significant influence on the culture of the organizations they oversee. In fact, the board ranked a distant fourth when respondents identified entities that do influence organizational culture. As we observed in the report:

“The fact that boards may not be seen as having substantial influence on culture may stem from findings that they do not focus extensively on the topic as part of their oversight role. EY’s 2021 The Board Imperative survey found that 27% of boards never or rarely discuss the culture needed to support organizational strategy, and only 22% of board members ‘expect that a misaligned culture will more than moderately impact their business in the next 12 months.’ The survey also offers an enlightening comparison of ‘leading’ vs. ‘developing’ boards relative to how often they discuss talent- and culture-related topics, showing a significant gap in many areas.”

Read the full blogpost here.