Effective Board Management Requires a Strong Support Infrastructure

Effective board management requires that directors take their responsibilities very seriously, be committed to the process, and work to improve. It also requires a robust infrastructure to support the board to do its best and enhances the effort of board members as well as the management team. This includes the governance systems, processes and tools in place for meeting planning, materials creation, portal management, and logistics.

The most effective boards are distinguished by a rigorous ongoing study of important, mission-critical drivers such as risks and opportunities, and an emphasis on the key stakeholder engagement. This includes asking for reports on customer, supplier and other key stakeholders’ behavior and trends. It also involves the economic environment and potential. It involves going out in the field and seeing the way the company works in real-time. Then, bringing these findings back to the board to discuss.

Most important to this pillar are the foundational trust and respect that should exist between board members to allow for a high-quality discussion and debate, including difficult questions and perspectives. It also requires a setting that is comfortable and even expected that the board can disagree with management.

The capacity of the board members to perform its job is contingent on the quality and availability of information. Leading boards can make efficient decisions when their information infrastructure is aligned with the vision of the board and engagement model as well as its mission. This includes a clear map of authority (sometimes referred to as a RACI Map) that clearly specifies who is responsible for, accountable, consultative or knowledgeable about specific subjects and when these roles and duties have been fulfilled.


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