When I was reading today's Wall Street Journal story about the problems with H-P's acquisition of Autonomy Corp. (here), I couldn't help thinking that the problem with many public boards is that they have too many people who have run large companies and not enough people who study human behavior.
Boards absolutely need people who "get" their business model and understand how to create the type of environment that will help a business thrive. But they absolutely also need people who can watch the board's decision-making and call "shenanigans" on decisions that are being made for the wrong reasons and with the wrong dynamics.
Of course, I'm saying this in part because I think that I would add value to a public company's board. I'm also saying it, though, because I can think of many people besides me who could do the same.
Boards: next time you need to fill a seat, try hard not to fill it with someone whose background is just like everyone else's. Insanity, after all, is doing the same thing each time and expecting different results.