Comment Re: Beyond Optics: Why Board Diversity Really Matters http://huff.to/bdivlpm (by Lucy Marcus, CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting, and published by the Huffington Post on January 5, 2011)
When I read this article, I think yes, Lucy makes an excellent case for diversity on boards. Diversity of thought, perspectives, skills and backgrounds in the boardroom — it’s all good.
Then I read the comments below the article, consider my own perspective, and mull over these questions: Whether or not we agree that diversity is a good thing in the boardroom, why do we care? What draws us to the conversation, and what can take us, well, beyond diversity?
The need for diversity in the boardroom is being proposed as one possible means to something else, a level or two higher, and, admittedly, I’m impatient to jump into that “something else” as soon as possible. I just know that when people share enthusiasm and agreement for a big picture idea, it’s so much easier then to sort out the details.
In my view, that higher-level, widely shared and inspirational goal is owner-accountable, effective, ethical corporations. We all see in our daily lives so many examples of flailing or corrupt or ineffective organizations, corporations, and levels of government. At the same time, we know that people working effectively together can achieve the most miraculous things!
If I had one wish for 2011, it would be to see the conversation about governance shift from discussions about this or that regulation or method for solving one piece of the governance problem, to meaningful, mind-blowing dialogue about governance theory, holistic systems for boards, and how we can create a world in which owner-accountable, effective and ethical corporations are the norm, not the exception.
I really appreciate how the conversation about boards has already moved — thanks to contributions like this article by Lucy Marcus — and my fervent hope is that it continues on a path that sparkles with brilliant discoveries about how organizations, corporations and democracies can prosper and thrive.
See also: Dear Board Member: It’s Not About You, It’s About We and