Effective board management requires that directors take their responsibilities very seriously, dedicate themselves to the process, and constantly strive to improve. It also requires a solid infrastructure to aid the board and allow them achieve their goals. This includes the tools, processes and systems in place to handle meeting planning, materials development, portal management as well as logistics and communications.

The most effective boards are characterized by a constant examination of the most important, mission-critical drivers risk and opportunities as well as a focus on key stakeholder engagement. This means requesting reports on supplier, customer and other key stakeholder behavior and trends as well as economic headwinds and opportunities. This involves going out to the field and witnessing how the company operates firsthand. Then, bringing these findings back to the board to discuss.

This pillar is based on the trust and respect between board members, which need to be present in order to allow for high-quality debates and discussions. It is also necessary to create an environment where it is accepted and even expected that the board may disagree with management.

The ability of the board to do its job is contingent on the quality and accessibility of information. Effective boards can make decisions when their information infrastructure is in alignment to the board’s vision of engagement, model of engagement, and mission. This includes an explicit matrix of authority (sometimes referred to as a RACI Map) that clearly defines who is accountable, accountable, consultative or informed about specific issues and when these roles and responsibilities have been fulfilled.

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