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How Board Management Effectiveness Reviews Can Improve Board Performance

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As the leader of a board you are responsible for making sure that your board members are equipped with the necessary information to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations. This means that the board receives the information it needs from the management. This would ideally mean conducting regular Board Effectiveness Reviews.

A robust evaluation process will allow the board to gain perspective on a range of issues that may hinder board performance. These can range from simple operational concerns, like meeting length or the composition of board agendas, to more difficult issues relating to the board’s role in strategic decision-making and gaps in knowledge and competencies on the board. This can also point out the need for new directors or changes to director positions that are already in place.

The board must be clear on the objectives of the assessment and should lead the process, with the assistance of senior managers who interact with the board regularly. The board should be able to discuss the results in conjunction and commit to addressing any issues that arise.

A recent study which was based on nine years of board self-evaluation information from a renowned Australian consultancy specializing in survey and corporate governance services, identified 11 reliable elements that contribute towards board effectiveness. Six of the factors were solely or predominantly Leblanc and Gillies (2005) “how” item, which is a reflection of distinct procedures for how boards can operate effectively. These include teamwork and internal communication, leadership by the chair, committee leadership, effective meetings, self-assessment of the board and efficient record keeping and management of information.

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