How Board Management Effectiveness Reviews Can Improve Board Performance

As the leader of a board you are responsible for making sure that your board members are armed with the information they require to fulfill their duties and obligations. This includes making sure that the board is receiving what it needs from management. This should ideally involve conducting regular Board Effectiveness Reviews.

A thorough evaluation process will assist the board to gain an understanding of a variety of issues that may be affecting the performance of the board. These can range from operational complaints such as the length of meetings or the composition of agendas for board meetings to more complicated concerns about how the board functions and gaps in knowledge and skills on the board. It can also highlight the need for new directors, or adjustments to director assignments already in place.

The board must be clear on the goals of its assessment and should lead the process with the help of senior managers who interact with the board on a regular basis. The board should be able to discuss the results in conjunction and agree to address any issues that arise.

A recent study that was based on nine years of board self-evaluation information from an acclaimed Australian consultancy specializing in survey and corporate governance services, identified 11 reliable factors that influence the effectiveness of boards. Six of the variables were purely or mostly Leblanc and Gillies (2005) “how” item, which is a reflection of distinct processes for how boards can be effective. These include effective meetings, internal communication, teamwork, leadership from the chair and efficient record-keeping and management.

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