12 Jun

The more I become familiar with what is unsaid in groups and why, the more I become aware of the (often unknown) large difference between how group members assess their joint situation and consequently also the (silent) large difference between how they assess what is needed. 

I also increasingly become aware that when groupmembers do know they (silently) perceive their reality differently, how hard it is to overcome these different assessments. It is especially difficult when people assume their assessment of reality is the (only) right one. 

Particularly in the context of boards, creating a shared sense of what is, is essential as board members are collectively reponsible for monitoring the actual performance of the organisation and deciding on the strategy. 

When they decide on the strategy based on a silent, unknown, different assessment of the current situation, these silent different assessments shape the decision-making process and the decision on the strategy.  

Developing a shared understanding of the current performance and capabilities before deciding on a (feasible) strategy requires a different cognitive exercise than deciding on specific topics. It requires time, inter-relational curiosity and cognitive reflexivity. 

Therefore, I would like to suggest, we all, but board members in particular, regularly explicitly and sincerely inquire into how peers perceive their current situation and why and (as much as possible) create a shared understanding before talking about what is needed and what is possible and decide on specific topics. 

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