Mark, a very important discussion. I would add that startup CEOs who want the most value from their boards should invite (if not insist) that board members have 1:1 meetings with the execs periodically.
My experience is that the vast majority of boards don’t use the ‘dip’ approach and therefore aren’t able to fulfill their roles fully due to a lack of insight. I can’t tell you how many times I have observed board members being surprised by an open secret within a startup. This problem is exacerbated by insecure CEOs who treat the board as the enemy, rather than their partners in success.