Effective board management requires directors to take their responsibilities seriously and to commit to the process, and work to continue to improve. It also requires a solid support infrastructure that allows the board to perform its best work and accelerates the work of the board members and management team. This includes the governance systems, processes and tools that are in place for meeting planning, material creation, portal management, and logistics.
The most effective boards are defined by a rigorous ongoing study of important, mission-critical drivers, risks and opportunities and a focus on key stakeholder engagement. This involves requesting reports about supplier, customer and other stakeholder interactions and trends as well as opportunities and headwinds in the economy. This means going out into the field and observing how the company works first-hand. Then, bring these insights back to the board to discuss.
This pillar is based on the trust and respect between board members, and must be in place to allow good debate and discussion. It is also necessary to create an environment in which it is normal and acceptable that the board might not agree with management.
The quality and accessibility of information is crucial for the board’s ability perform its duties. Effective boards can make decisions when their information infrastructure is aligned to the board’s vision engagement model, engagement model, and mission. This includes an authority matrix (sometimes called a RACI map) that clearly defines what people and groups are accountable for, accountable for consulting on or being informed about specific topics and when these obligations and roles are fulfilled.