I was providing strategic planning for a large multinational company and was asked to sit in on a board meeting toward the end of my consulting assignment to assess their functioning and any possible barriers that could impede their future progress. As the meeting started, I observed how people fell into their roles without the need for a script or the typed agenda in front of them. In fact, you could clearly see the board chair was in control of the board meeting without so much as uttering a word. The meeting went off without a hitch and at the meeting debrief I shared with the executive leadership team that it was obvious people were bought into the leadership and direction of the company.NEVER MISS ANOTHER UPDATE.
The Role of The Board
The board of directors is the governing body of an organization, and in most cases the board sets the tone and direction of the organization. For that reason, effective board leadership and governance helps ensure that an organization can operate to its full capacity. The work of the board should be focused on organizational priorities related to its desired impact, and at all times board members are expected to act judiciously and in the best interests of the organization. Just as I shared in the example above, consultants can help organizations to redefine board expectations, practices, and strategies so that they are in line with organizational priorities, but they cannot come in and make the changes without buy-in from leadership.[bctt tweet=”The work of the board should be focused on organizational priorities related to its desired impact” username=”JasonCarthen”]
Board Recruitment & Two Key Practices
Recruiting a stellar board member is only the first step. Creating an effective board is an ongoing process that includes recruitment, engagement and development. Here are two things that are vital to make sure you are moving toward a healthy and effective board:
- It is important to have an independent, thorough assessment of the strengths and challenges of your board, including interviews with board members, confidential surveys, and reviews of key governing documents.
- Organizations should make it a high priority to regularly educate board members about their important role and about the organization itself.
When boards are cultivated with an eye toward long-term growth and stability for the organization, everyone wins.
Point of Clarity Quote:
Any time people come together in a meeting, we’re not necessarily getting the best ideas; we’re just getting the ideas of the best talkers.
– Susan Cain