Vote and move on

If you’re part of a board, or committee, you need to become adept at recognizing polarized issues. It’s not rocket science, yet for some reason it seems to trip up people on boards and committees.

I’ve never understood holding open discussions about issues that people will never agree about, when the people who will ultimately decide have already made up their minds. When this is the case, put it to a vote and move on.

If minds aren’t entirely made up, then discussion might make sense. When discussing, it would be wise to find a neutral party to mediate. Nobody with skin in the game will be rational. Not even people who are sitting on the fence, eventually they’ll fall to one side.

And most important of all, boards and committees should strive as much as possible to focus on common goals and not take up divisive issues without something substantial to gain. That means when a board or a committee is formed there should be an understanding of the mutual objectives. Maximize those objectives and everyone should be happy. Always cede differences to fulfilling objectives and you’ll be surprised how few disputes need arise.