Building Better Boards



Multiple lists specify the knowledge, skills and experience that boards need in order to perform their role effectively. There is no universally applicable formula for building a better board. Good approaches suggest that establishing a framework relevant for your own organisation is the foundation for succession planning, development and recruitment of directors. Excellent approaches also provide granular strengths analysis to specify the diversity of attitudes, beliefs, thinking approaches and behaviour that contribute to board performance. 

Enabling directors to play to their strengths improves contribution. Effective Chairs recognise the different strengths which each individual could contribute and create the environment in which imaginative discussion and constructive challenge take place prior to decision making. 

The canvas of strengths is broad and complementary. For example, to deliver a robust strategic process, your board requires a range of different strengths to analyse your organisation and environment, explore different strategic options, choose a path to the future, excite stakeholders to join in that journey and track progress and performance. 

Over the last 18 months, the level of external scrutiny of strategic process, board decision-making and behaviour has increased. Focusing on one aspect - Attitude to problems - astute observers ask: 

“Where are your problem anticipators, your opportunity spotters? ‘ 

In times of crisis, problem solvers often get most headlines. They are the individuals who are quick to act to recover difficult situations and mitigate risks. Stories are told of their success, they prosper.

Less overt are the individuals who quietly prepare plans to take advantage of strategic change, selecting the opportunities to maximise value and minimising the risks associated with the changes. 

Whether on the board or informing the board, both sets of strengths are essential. Well done to the Chairs who enable a board culture that allows both approaches to be heard and applied. Their boards invest concurrently in modifying their current organisation model, developing new models and designing innovative approaches to the emerging macro environment.

August 06, 2019

July 08, 2019