The Board of Directors Poker Game
A board of directors is similar to a poker game. They both meet on a regular basis, there is a variety of individuals involved, they are primarily men, the number of members need to be present to make it meaningful and this is not anyone’s primary career.
So what if the monthly and/or quarterly poker game is missing one or more players? The remaining group needs to recruit another player or two. The group seeks to recruit someone with the same skill level as the other players, no one wants an unskilled player that is too slow or needs to be taught the rules both official and the ones pertaining to this game. Also the player needs to be able to get along with everyone, a player who is disruptive sours the game and no one enjoys it and most likely the game will break up early and the players go away frustrated.
This is exactly the logic of over 95% of new board seats that are filled. Find someone that a director will vouch for and that will fit in. This is fine for the regular poker game but very short sighted for any progressive board that wants to always be of value to the stakeholders of the company.
Recruit new board members that bring value and that are professionals that adapt to the board culture instead of the board having to adapt to the director’s personality.