Board of directors are expected to provide guidance and oversight on a broad range of business issues. To do this effectively they need to be engaged in productive tasks. This means fulfilling their decision-making duties as well as completing committee assignments and effectively managing meetings. It also means evaluating traditional methods and introducing new ones to improve efficiency, productivity and the effectiveness of the board.
Regular meeting attendance is a crucial indicator of a board’s commitment to good governance and, therefore, to the value-creating work that the business relies on them to accomplish. It’s not enough. As shareholder activist Nell Minow points out, “the boards of some of our most loved companies have poor or nonexistent attendance records. Some of the most prominent names on these boards seldom show up, and when they do show up they’re usually not prepared.
Tailored induction programmes help directors get up to speed with their company, while continuing education helps board members be aware of legal and industry changes that could impact their duties. There is a rising number of boards are establishing culture initiatives that encourage openness, trust, and collaboration to enable effective decisions and achieve strategic goals.
Some boards decide to delegate certain responsibilities to non-board members who possess specific expertise, contacts or experience. This allows a wider variety of people to take part in the activities of the board. It giving busy professionals the chance to help their cause and cultivates talent for future board posts.