Dylan's Approach to Corporate Governance
With roots in the tradition of organizational development through action research, the essence of Dylan's approach draws on the work of pioneers like Kurt Lewin, Chris Argyris and David Kolb, and a long line of successors that include Ed Schein, Peter Senge, Claus Otto Scharmer and many others. There are, however, three distinguishing features of his approach. The first is ‘what’ he focuses on, namely, decision-making. The second is ‘how’ he then helps people improve their decision-making, which is by designing effective communication processes for navigating complex business challenges. The third feature that sets him apart is his ‘team-based’ approach to decision-making.
Why this emphasis on decision-making? The knowledge and skills needed in business are constantly evolving, but one point that remains constant is the ability to make good decisions under time and budget pressures, to identify and prioritize options and take action accordingly.
Why the emphasis on resolving complex challenges? The ability to make good decisions is not acquired by reading a case study on decision-making – it’s something that is honed through cycles of discussion and debate in a safe environment where people can test ideas, course-correct and reflect on their tendencies through a process of open discussion.
Why use a team-based approach to problem-solving? Simply put, even if we make particular decisions individually, we depend on others for their effective execution. Consensus-building in-house means that we have to present our decisions persuasively and be prepared to accept decisions that are more reasonable than our own.
In short, Dylan helps boards "stress-test" their decisions by presenting them with challenging questions in which they improve their ability to analyze situations, answer tough questions and put the best decisions into action. In off-sites and "deep-dives," boards then reflect on how to work through the challenges they face in their everyday work.