Effective Board Management Requires a Strong Support Infrastructure

Effective board management requires directors to be committed to their responsibilities and commit to the process and work to keep improving. It also requires a robust infrastructure to support the board to perform its best job and boosts the effort of board members as well as the management team. This includes the governance processes, systems and tools in place for meeting planning, material creation as well as portal management and logistics.

The most effective boards are those that do a thorough analysis of risk-based drivers and mission-critical drivers, and are focused on the involvement of key stakeholders. This includes requesting reports on customer, supplier, and other key stakeholders’ actions and trends. It also includes economic headwinds as well as opportunities. This also includes going out into the field to observe the way the company works and bringing the findings back for discussion with the board.

This pillar is built on the trust and respect between board members, which need to be present to allow for good debate and discussion. It also requires an environment where it is acceptable and even expected that the board members will not agree with management.

The availability and quality of information is vital to the board’s ability fulfill its duties. Leading boards are able to effectively make decisions through the use of an information infrastructure that is in line with the board’s mission and engagement model as well as its vision for excellence. This includes an explicit map of authority (sometimes referred to as a RACI Map) that clearly defines who important link is accountable for, accountable, consultative or informed about specific issues and when these roles and obligations have been fulfilled.

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