Effective board management requires directors to be committed to their responsibilities and to commit to the process and work to keep improving. It also demands a strong infrastructure to allow the board to perform its best job and boosts the work of board members and the management team. This includes the governance systems, processes and tools that are in place for meeting planning, the creation of materials as well as portal management and logistics.
The most effective boards are distinguished by a constant examination of the most important, mission-critical drivers such as risks and opportunities, and a focus on key stakeholder involvement. This entails requesting reports on suppliers, customers and other key stakeholder behaviours and trends as well as economic headwinds and opportunities. It also involves going out into the field to see firsthand how the company operates and bringing those insights back to the board.
Most important to this pillar is the fundamental trust and respect that must be maintained between board members to allow for high-quality discussion and debate, which includes difficult questions and perspectives. It is also crucial to create an environment which it is normal and acceptable that the board could disagree with management.
The capacity of the board to do its job is dependent on the quality and accessibility of the information. The most successful boards can effectively make decisions by maintaining an information infrastructure that is compatible with the board’s mission the engagement model and vision for excellence. This includes an explicit map of authority (sometimes referred to as a RACI Map) that clearly determines who is responsible to be accountable, accountable, consultative, or informed about specific issues and when these roles and duties have been fulfilled.