Using the support of colleagues across an organisation and emphasising the repercussions of failing to change can be key to changing archaic boardroom cultures, Health & Protection’s Health Summit has heard.
Marcia Reid, non-executive director at Sherwood Healthcare, revealed she had first hand experience of sitting on a board where her opinion differed from the rest of the board.
“So you vote with your feet,” Reid (pictured centre) continued.
“The danger is that certain groups will attract like and you have to be quite brave. That’s where again it’s important to get with employees and the group. And it may even be easier doing it that way.
“For me it’s a bit like the Gary Lineker situation – love him or hate him or whatever you think – it was only really when his colleagues voted with their feet that it was addressed.
“Again, whatever your opinion was at, the power was with those people rather than the leadership group, so it is a real challenge and I have definitely felt that pain personally.”
Repercussions of not changing
Fellow panelist Amy Egginton, senior new proposition development manager at Bupa, recommended showing board members the problems they and the organisation will face if they do not embrace change.
“Show somebody the issues they’ll have further down the line if they don’t embrace the change, actually that’s more impactful, that has a reasonable outcome,” Egginton (pictured right) said.
“I think it’s about trying to identify those problems and really highlighting them.
“Be brave about that. Say you’re going to lose the workforce if you don’t do that. It’s about being okay to say that and feel confident in that.”
Mark Gregory, HR business partner at Partners&, echoed those sentiments and added that it was vital find your one ally on the board.
“I think it’s about playing to your strengths,” Gregory (pictured left) said.
“If there is a leadership team and maybe there’s quite a lot of them that are old school, don’t try to stop building on what you’ve got. If there’s one ally in there, just build on that.
“Because it can be really tough starting that journey – so I would say focus on finding that one ally and build on it.”