By Dan Fairley and Michael O’Brien with Mary K. Totten
Great health care boards primarily focus on enabling their organizations to create innovative solutions that address community needs for improved health and well-being. They also address regulatory, competitive, resource and other challenges that sometimes may seem daunting, but these do not divert them from their primary purpose. While times of significant change can create organizational inertia as leaders and trustees wait for the next onslaught of obstacles and challenges, great boards help their organizations move beyond a victim-focused mindset to a success-oriented one that focuses on being a winner.
Boards can help their organizations confront the rapid, transformational changes under way in health care. They must keep their organizations focused on their mission to meet community health needs, encourage collaboration and generative thinking with internal and external partners, and engage in governance practices that foster disciplined oversight and decision-making processes.
A benchmarked, practiced and disciplined board process combined with regular self-assessment and robust reflection on process and outcomes are key determinants for great board performance and sustainable organizational success.