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Highly skilled professionals are frequently very good at single-loop learning. After all, they have spent much of their lives acquiring academic credentials, mastering one or a number of intellectual disciplines, and applying those disciplines to solve real-world problems. But ironically, this very fact helps explain why professionals are often so bad at double-loop learning.

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Prior work on board effectiveness has mostly focused either on directors’ incentives or motivation or the ability of directors. Forbes and Milikens' conceptualization of board barriers connects with both of these perspectives. Specifically, they agree with prior research and theory that the motivation of directors as well as their individual knowledge, skills, and abilities should influence board outcomes. However, they also believe that the structural barriers that they have outlined in this article should make it difficult for even the most motivated and most skilled board to monitor effectively. https://bit.ly/3iMrN4c

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To an extent that the authors are only beginning to appreciate, most people at work, even in high-performing organizations, divert considerable energy every day to a second job that no one has hired them to do: preserving their reputations, putting their best selves forward, and hiding their inadequacies from others and themselves. The authors believe this is the single biggest cause of wasted resources in nearly every company today.

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In this article the authors develop a model of board processes by integrating the literature on boards of directors with the literature on group dynamics and workgroup effectiveness. The resulting model illuminates the complexity of board dynamics and paves the way for future empirical research that expands and refines our understanding of what makes boards effective.

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Fair process isn’t decision by consensus or democracy in the workplace. Its goal is to pursue the best ideas, not create harmony.

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Senior teams find teamwork difficult. The competing viewpoints that promote sound decision making also lead naturally to conflicts that waste precious time and erode interpersonal relationships. Indeed, when substantial conflicts erupt in management teams, dysfunctional group dynamics followed by frustration and flawed decisions may be the rule rather than the exception. Clearly, realizing the promise of teamwork at the top requires finding ways to help management teams deal constructively with tough conflicts.

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Netflix takes a radically different approach to information sharing with the goal of significantly and efficiently increasing transparency among the CEO, executive team, and board of directors. The Netflix approach incorporates two highly unique practices: (1) board members periodically attend (in an observing capacity only) monthly and quarterly senior management meetings, and (2) board communications are structured as approximately 30-page online memos in narrative form that not only include links to supporting analysis but also allow open access to all data and information on the company’s internal shared systems, including the ability to ask clarifying questions of the subject authors. This quarterly memo is written by and shared with the top 90 executives as well as the board.

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