I sit on a board as a nonexecutive director and often feel uncomfortable about the amount of time available to raise questions and debate issues. In addition, I recently worked with a different board on how to add more value to the business. In this role I found myself counseling one of the directors to ask fewer questions and make fewer comments. How many comments or questions should a board member raise in a board meeting? Before I became a director, I asked board chairs what qualities they most appreciate in a nonexecutive director. One said, “Someone who only makes one comment at each meeting. But it is a really important contribution.” Is this right? Should a nonexecutive expect to make one contribution per meeting, or one contribution per agenda item, or what?
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