Board-level crises are not always discrete events that lend themselves to “happy endings.” Increasingly, they seem to linger, and to cast a sustained cloud over the governance process. And the most viral seeds of crisis have a nasty habit of spawning collateral dysfunction, for which boards must (reluctantly) anticipate and prepare.
That seems to be the central message of the long-running drama involving the CBS board—at least as described in media reports. It’s a board that appears to be dealing with the significant aftershocks of not just one, but two successive crises—and devolving into internal dysfunction as a result. And it is a type of dysfunction that even the best populated, most-informed and best advised, boards can’t readily spot and comfortably avoid.