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Understanding the Culture of Your Board

In Practice,"Understanding the Culture of Your Board," an article written by NACD Programs Director, Patrick R. Dailey, PhD.  Click Here to View a PDF of the Article.

Culture is the building block of group behavior. It is the body of accumulated beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, values and experiences of a board’s directors that collectively manifest in decorum, protocol, norms and the concentration of power. Culture functions as an ever-present rudder that sorts issues and priorities, and can exert profound influence on individual behavior. It can provide lift as well as cause drag on board effectiveness and satisfaction. Colloquially, culture is “how we do things around here.”   Elements of Board CultureThe five factors of board culture are presented below. Each factor represents the specific dimensions of culture, which further explain the cultural anatomy of a board.  This model resulted from in-depth interviews conducted with directors and chairs of public- and private-company boards.

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