In many organizations, there is that room, not common for every one and some staff would dare be summoned there. It is like the seat of power and authority. True; the Board Room is where a commonly posed question is answered from: But, who is Management? We know that in all our organizations, we have Managers, by whatever title called. But we always see notices, orders, instructions and even memos, not signed but bearing the issuer as Management. So, who is that Management, who does not sign his notices? No Parking, Parking at Owners Risk; No Way Through; No Passengers allowed –Management. If a staff is disgruntled by a decision, he is told it was Management.
If he went to the Managing Director, he will be told, ‘it was Management’. That is most likely the same answer that his immediate supervisor will give. So, who is that invisible Management? The answer is; Inside the Board room where The Top Management Team (TMT) becomes jointly responsible for running the organization. After that, each one is Manager so and so….. Even the Management Director (MD) will hide behind the same concept to avoid taking some decisions, and they may not change some decisions made inside the Board room.
Thus, the behavior inside the board room has organization wide ramifications.
The TMT members think and decide the affairs of the organization; strategic decisions are derived and operations assessed. It is a communication place, information sharing and building team cohesion among the members. Critical directions the organization should take are cut clearly here. TMT members interact; learn of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In many cases, there are intense discussions that may even flare into open heart anger. The opposing viewpoints and interests among Managers are sorted out here. Together, they are Management. Once outside the board room, they are members of Management, not Management. That is the reason why that notice is not signed, and if signed, it will bear not the designation of the member signing but, On behalf of Management.
The behavior inside the Board room is characterized by task and relationship dimensions, differences between people, processes and structures. But the main domain that influence Management inside the board room is task processes. Each Manager will push for favorable decisions for his portfolio.
TMT members are expected to agree and have a consensus. But this is easier said than done. When the level of relationship conflict is high, TMT members will have frequent fights, accompanied by discussions that focus on the person rather than the content of work; which may result into organizational stagnation. To assess the behaviour inside the board room, we expect that team engagement is momentous, each member deriving a mood of reliance on each other. There should be cohesion in spirit and form among the members; members should stick together on issues that affect the organization and no one should feel particularly used or singled out.
Inside the board room should be a place for openness. But, what happens must not be shared outside; except through the official Spokesperson. That said, Management performance is seen in quality of decisions, team work and commitment in implementing board room resolutions.
Growth and satisfaction are seen in enhanced performance in each individual’s portfolio and translating into positive supervision of suburbanites The overall image is the success of the organization.
By Prof. Vincent Bagire
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