By now you are either hooked yourself or your social media feeds are flooded with colorful blocks as your friends and colleagues declare their daily Wordle results to the world. The daily word game that has become nothing short of a global sensation is providing many of us a welcomed daily distraction, but it can also teach us some powerful lessons – including in the board room!
Wordle is a shared experience – through this game, people around the world have a clear and common goal each day. Every single player is focused on the same exact outcome.
A shared experience and shared vision are the most powerful accelerators for your board in driving strategy forward. You must take every opportunity to re-ground your board in the mission of the organization, to clearly demonstrate why you do the work you do. That shared end goal is the rallying force behind board engagement and execution.
Wordle scores vary each day and across friend groups. The uncle who got a 4 yesterday just scored a 2 today and the partner who barely eked out a 6 yesterday is celebrating their 3 today. No one person is leading every day on the Wordle front.
The most successful and truly engaged boards embrace a culture of role shifting all the time. Which board member leads, which one challenges, and which one connects the dots to history – those roles change based on the issue at hand. While the shared vision and ultimate outcome is equal, how each board member arrives there is unique and adds to the collective value of a thorough, thoughtful decision-making process. Encourage your board members to play multiple roles over time, the result will be a nimble and engaged board with a natural eye on succession planning.
Social media platforms are lighting up with Wordle results because it builds comradery around the game. Competition is a motivator (for some of us more than others) to perform better!
While I am not suggesting a group text with your board to share daily Wordle scores, there are many other opportunities to use healthy competition to drive results in the board room. One way to do this is to create annual engagement plans for board members, capturing the goals and commitments of each individual director. Then, report on that progress in aggregate to the full board along the way. When you share with the board that 50% of members are meeting their meeting attendance commitment or that 65% are meeting their philanthropic commitment – there is healthy peer pressure there to amp up individual engagement.
There is always an opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of your board. Have fun with it!
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