Q. What’s one of the biggest complaints CEO’s have about their Boards?
A. “The Board is a waste of time – it doesn’t add any value.”
Q. What’s one of the biggest complaints Board members have about their Boards?
A. “This Board feels like a waste of time – it doesn’t feel like we’re adding any value.”
Q. What’s going on here?
A. Who said the role of the Board is to add value?!
It’s not – at least not in the context of masterminding the next I-Pod or the next outsourcing strategy. That’s up to the management team.
The role of the Board is to govern – some Boards are even called Boards of ‘Governors’. There are 5 key elements of governing effectively:
- ensuring that the organization has the right CEO
- ensuring that the organization has a strategic planning process
- learning the business and the industry well enough to have a well-formed perspective on benefits and risk of the organization’s strategic direction
- monitoring to ensure that strategies are being executed as planned
- monitoring to ensure that the Board is governing effectively
The Board role is a mix of three things:
- out-front leadership (CEO and planning process)
- knowledge and insight (business of the organization)
- monitoring and compliance (measurement and policies).
Managing this mix is the responsibility of the Board chair. There isn’t a more important role in the organization.
See part II Role of the Board of Directors here.
See part III here.