Effective Board Management Requires a Strong Support Infrastructure

Effective board management requires that directors take their responsibilities seriously, dedicate themselves to the process, and constantly strive to improve. It also requires a strong infrastructure to assist the board and let them achieve their best results. This includes the governance systems, processes and tools for meetings planning, creation of materials, portal management, and logistics.

The most effective boards are characterized by a continuous review of mission-critical, material drivers risk and opportunities as well as an emphasis on key stakeholder involvement. This includes requesting reports on suppliers, customers, and other stakeholder interactions and trends, as well as economic headwinds and opportunities. This involves going out to the field and observing how the business operates in person. Then, bring these insights back to the board to discuss.

This pillar is built on the trust and respect between the board members. They must be present to allow for quality discussion and debates. It is also essential to create an environment in which it is normal and acceptable that the board can disagree with management.

The ability of the board to perform its job is dependent on the quality and accessibility of information. Effective boards can make decisions when their information infrastructure is in alignment to the vision of the board and engagement model as well as its mission. This includes an explicit authority matrix (sometimes called a RACI map) that clearly defines which people and groups are accountable for, accountable to and consultative about particular topics and when those roles and responsibilities are met.

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