Join Mind Tools
Get unlimited access to 2500+ leadership & management resources in a range of learning formats when you join Mind Tools.
Join now

Sign-up to our newsletter

Subscribing to the Mind Tools newsletter will keep you up-to-date with our latest updates and newest resources.

Working on it...
Successfully subscribed to the newsletter
Sorry, something went wrong
July 20, 2015

Behind the Boardroom Door

Rachel Salaman

, , , ,

NancyFallsBoards govern, management teams lead. That's what Nancy Falls told me when we talked recently about her new book, "Corporate Concinnity in the Boardroom: 10 Imperatives to Drive High Performance Companies."

It makes sense that boards and management teams should do different things. But where does corporate governance end and leading the company begin?

According to Falls, governing is all about helping a company "achieve its goals and objectives while, at the same time, ensuring that it meets its obligations to a whole variety of stakeholders." These might be customers, investors, regulators, employees, or even the local community. Leading, on the other hand, is about planning and directing the day-to-day operations of a company.

Falls' book sets out a framework for corporate governance that acknowledges this difference in roles. Crucially, it also presents ways in which the board and the C-suite can work together harmoniously and effectively – the "concinnity" of her book’s title.

"The reality is, those of us who lead and govern in companies really need a new way of thinking about how we do our work," she says. "Environments are changing so rapidly, there’s more risk out there, and we really need to approach it differently. We've begun to change what I call the 'what' and the 'who' of leading and governing.

"We appreciate that we have to be focused on different things and that we need different players to help us do that. But the reality is, when you bring all these different players together, they sometimes have trouble working well together because they're different, and that's where we really need to work on the 'how' of our work together. That's what the book is really focused on."

So what about that unusual word, concinnity? It dates back to the 16th century, Falls says, and means the skillful and harmonious arrangement of the different parts of something – for example, a corporate governance structure.

"This word 'concinnity' really gives, in a word, a goal for people to work towards together," she explains. "In the context of business, this word represents both the concept and a goal and that is one of constructive harmony and pulling diverse players, diverse agendas, together."

The 10-part framework outlined in the book, designed to create corporate concinnity, is a "great defense against what I have found to be the most common leadership and governance mistakes that happen in and around the boardroom and the C-suite," Falls says. "And the cool thing is, people who work with one another in these companies that embrace concinnity find the work actually becomes easier and it becomes more fun."

Her 10 tips for achieving concinnity in the boardroom include: draw a line in the sand, clarifying roles and responsibilities; don’t go overboard, about getting the right people around the table doing the right things; and cultivate wisdom, reminding board members to reflect rather than react, to be compassionate rather than indifferent.

In this audio clip, from our Expert Interview podcast, Falls elaborates on the benefits cultivating wisdom can bring to an organization.

 Listen to the full Expert Interview in the Mind Tools Club ¦ Install Flash Player.

If you’re on a board, or work with one, you'll probably find a lot of value in Nancy Falls' book. And if you work elsewhere in your organization's hierarchy, you may still find it useful. Concinnity is surely a worthwhile goal, no matter what job you do. How would you change the way your team works, for greater harmony and effectiveness? Join in the discussion below!

Share this post:

2 comments on “Behind the Boardroom Door”

  1. I have come to like mind tool due to the inspiration tools that are offered. Kindly send me a copy of audio clip full of ''expert interview''my computer is unable to read. Kind regards

  2. Hello jm munyamwezi,

    Thank you for your feedback, and I apologise that you're not able to hear the audio clip. If you can provide us with more specific information about the problems you're experiencing we can offer more targeted help. In the meantime, please make sure that you are using Adobe Flash in your browser. You can download the latest version here:

    Please let us know if this doesn't resolve your problems, and tell us which OS and browser you're using, and any error messages you are seeing.

    Mind Tools Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join Mind Tools

Get unlimited access to 2500+ leadership & management resources in a range of learning formats when you join Mind Tools.
Join now

You may also like...

March 15, 2023

How the Pandemic Changed the Workplace, Three Years On

How did the pandemic affect work? We chart the turbulent changes office workers have faced these last few years and consider what the future holds.

, ,

March 2, 2023

"I'm Not More or Less: I Just Am" – Emily Ladau on Disability

"Systemic ableism is shutting people out because we're not actively thinking." Allies can change that, person by person, moment by moment.

, , ,

February 22, 2023

Get Coaching – Introducing Brand-New Mind Tools Coaching Videos

Introducing six brand-new Mind Tools videos! Discover how coaching can transform individuals and teams.


© Emerald Works Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
"Mind Tools" is a registered trademark of Emerald Works Limited.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram