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Effectiveness is not easy to achieve


Effectiveness is not easy to achieve

Boards and Trusts can quickly find themselves working to a set pattern: reviewing past minutes, considering papers put forward from management and overseeing organisational performance. Such routine performance suggests that more attention could be directed to lifting the Board’s effectiveness. But is not an easy task. It takes time and it means standing back and looking from the outside in.

Here are a few questions that may assist a Board or Trust to consider its role and hopefully its effectiveness:

  1. How well are the Chair and the Chief Executive working together?
  2. Is there a member of your Board/Trust who dominates the debate?
  3. Do the competencies, skill-sets, knowledge and experience around the board table align closely with the organisation’s strategic intent?
  4. Do Board/Trust members undertake training on a regular basis?
  5. How well does your board measure up against other like boards?
  6. Is your Board strategically focused?
  7. Is information received accurate and timely?
  8. How is your Board adding value to the organisation?
  9. Do directors/Trustees have a job description?
  10. Is the Board risk adverse or a risk mitigating?

Many Boards conduct a ‘self assessment’ of their own performance. Its weakness is obvious:

“how many members would willingly state that the Board they are serving on is not performing well?:

I would suggest there would not be too many.

If Boards are really working on behalf of their shareholders they will want to reassure them that all is well and they are working effectively with the right processes in place. These Boards stand out from the others. Look out for them - they conduct independent assessments and better still they carry out independent 3600 assessments as a means to find ways to ‘lift their game’, to work smarter and ultimately more effectively.