Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War. At just 272 words it lasted less than three minutes, even for a slow speaker like Lincoln. In just a handful of sentences Lincoln’s famous oration signalled the beginning of the end of the Civil War that had divided his nation
The word “why” is the most powerful word for any non-executive director. Hearing it used regularly signals a healthy board who is approaching their role in the right way.
Boards can’t operate effectively unless they make decisions unanimously (no effective board operates on majority vote decisions). However unanimous decision making doesn’t mean there isn’t serious debate and discussion.
The social philosopher Eric Hoffer once said “The beginning of thought is in disagreement – not only with others but also with ourselves.” It’s an ethos that I have followed in both politics and business.