Introductory phrases such as “in our case….” or “given our board’s history…” or “in light of the expertise and dedication on our board…or “the culture of our organization prevents….” increasingly invade discussions of governance, accountability, transparency, and ethics (what I call “GATE”). For example, some boards consider that because they rarely have conflicts of interest, a meticulous conflicts procedure may not be necessary. Others believe that the board Chair is so competent that he or she should have a more extensive role in governance decisions (committee structure and assignments, succession planning, CEO evaluation and remuneration analysis….) than GATE suggests – a sort of efficiently benevolent and competent dictatorship. Other boards rule out certain GATE policies or mechanisms as inconsistent with the organization’s “culture”.