Board Assessments

How to build a better board

The annual board and committee assessment is a powerful tool to achieve alignment on strategies, improve board dynamics and uncover any concerns that may lie beneath the surface.

Assessments can unlock a wide variety of issues.  For example, are the board and management aligned on matters of strategy?  Are there disputes or other issues between directors, or between directors and management, that impede the smooth functioning of the board? Do the board and management understand their  roles, as well as those of others?

A carefully tailored assessment process helps the board itself answer these, and other potentially thorny questions.

We structure assessments with three baseline principles in mind.

  •  We do not judge or grade performance.  We promote candid and thoughtful responses and conversations that improve board function.
  •  We encourage candor through anonymity for the individuals involved.  It is imperative to avoid any embarrassment to a member of the board.
  •  Follow up is critical. Once the issues are raised and solutions are agreed, the board must act swiftly to pick up on the lessons learned.

Every board is different, each board assessment or assignment is unique – and therefore there is no  single, prescribed assessment method. Most commonly, assessments involve written surveys, personal interviews, or a combination of these techniques.  The choice of methodology must be tailored to the particular needs of the board and the issues that it faces.