Effective Board Management Requires a Strong Support Infrastructure

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

The most effective boards are characterized by a thorough ongoing study of important, mission-critical drivers such as risks and opportunities, and a focus on key stakeholder involvement. This includes requesting reports on customer, supplier, and other key stakeholders’ behaviours and trends. Also, it is about economic headwinds data security as well as opportunities. It means going out to the field and seeing how the business operates in person. Then, bring these findings back to the board for discussion.

Most important to this pillar is the fundamental trust and respect that has to exist between board members to allow for a high-quality discussion and debate, which includes controversial questions and opinions. It is also necessary to create a climate in which it is normal and acceptable that the board might not agree with management.

The capacity of the board to perform its job depends on quality and availability of information. Leading boards are able to effectively make decisions by ensuring an information infrastructure that is aligned with the board’s mission and engagement model as well as its vision for excellence. This includes a clear authority matrix (sometimes called a RACI map) that clearly defines what people and groups are accountable for, accountable to and consultative about particular topics and when those obligations and roles are fulfilled.