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A Board Chair's Power

Avoid a power struggle between the board chair and the CSO

What can an effective board chair do for an organization? Quite a bit, some recent research suggests—especially when it comes to leading through a crisis.

In a recent Journal of Management article, three business scholars looked at how companies fared when board chairs or CEOs took the lead in response to a crisis such as COVID-19. According to a report on the research on Colorado State University's website, when a dedicated chair "engaged in a decisive, hands-on leadership style... their companies were more likely to create streamlined, simple strategies and fared well." However, when the company CEO also served in the board-chair position, responses tended to be more bogged down.

This predicament is less likely to apply to associations, where the CEO and board-chair roles are typically separate. But the research points to an issue with CEO responses, regardless of the organization. According to one of the researchers, Texas A&M’s Dr. Mary Waller, CEOs live with the day-to-day complexities of their organizations, which can lead them to generate overly complex solutions in a crisis.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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