How Board Management Effectiveness Reviews Can Improve Board Performance

As the leader of the board, you have the responsibility of ensuring that your board members have the information they need to carry out the duties they have been assigned and meet their obligations. This includes ensuring that the board receives what it needs from the management. In the ideal scenario, this means conducting periodic Board Effectiveness Reviews.

A thorough evaluation process will aid the board in gaining an understanding of a variety of issues that could be hindering board performance. These can range from operational complaints such as the length of meetings and the compositions of board agendas to more complicated concerns about the role of the board as well as the gaps in knowledge and expertise on the board. It can also highlight the need for new directors or adjustments to directorships already in place.

The board should be clear about the purpose of its assessment and should be the driving force behind the process – with the help of senior managers who communicate with the board regularly. The board should agree to discuss the results and resolve any issues that arise.

A recent study based on 9 years of self-evaluation data for board members from a prominent Australian consulting firm specializing in survey research and corporate governance services. The study revealed 11 reliable factors that contribute to board effectiveness. Six of the variables were purely or predominantly Leblanc and Gillies (2005) “how” item, which reflects distinct methods for ensuring that boards be effective. These include teamwork and internal communication and the leadership of the chair committee leader, effective meetings, self-assessment of the board and efficient record-keeping and management of information.

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