Attention Board Members: Do You Understand Your Board’s Business Chemistry?
According to a recent publication from Deloitte’s Center for Board Effectiveness, “a board’s Business Chemistry can greatly affect its effectiveness and have an impact on the performance of the company.” But what is Business Chemistry?
“Business Chemistry, in some ways, is similar to personality assessments designed to facilitate a better understanding of personal preferences and partialities; however, Business Chemistry takes the concept further. For example, it is focused on interaction rather than introspection. It can facilitate improved effectiveness of interactions in a business setting, in addition to understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses,” the publication explains.
There are four Business Chemistry types:
- Pioneers value possibilities. They are known for sparking energy, being outgoing, spontaneous and adaptable. Pioneers are creative thinkers who see the big picture and believe that with big risk come big rewards.
- Guardians value stability. They are known for bringing order and rigor to the boardroom. Guardians are practical, detailed oriented and deliberate in decision making. They tend to stick with the status quo and can be a bit risk averse.
- Drivers value challenge. They are known for being direct in their approach to people and problems. Drivers are technical, quantitative, logical and skilled at identifying patterns to understand things.
- Integrators value connections. They are known for being the “glue” that holds the boardroom together, especially during chaotic times. Integrators are empathic, diplomatic, non-confrontational and consensus-oriented.
While conversations about boardroom diversity typically focus on gender and race/ethnicity, Deloitte argues that diversity in terms of Business Chemistry type is also important for board effectiveness.