Effective board management requires directors to be committed to their responsibilities and commit to the process and strive to keep improving. It also demands a strong infrastructure to support the board to perform its best and enhances the work of board members as well as the management team. This includes the tools, processes and systems in place for meeting planning, materials development as well as portal management logistics, communications and logistics.
The most effective boards are distinguished by a thorough ongoing examination of the most important, mission-critical drivers such as risks and opportunities, and an emphasis on the key stakeholder engagement. This involves requesting reports about customer, supplier and other key stakeholder behavior and trends as well as opportunities and headwinds in the economy. It also involves going out into the field to see firsthand how the company operates and bringing these insights back for discussion with the board.
This pillar is based on the trust and respect between board members, which must be present in order to allow for quality discussion and debates. It is also crucial to create a culture in which it is expected and acceptable that the board can disagree with management.
The capacity of the board to perform its job is dependent on the quality and availability of information. Effective boards can make decisions when their information infrastructure is in alignment to the vision of the board, engagement model, and mission. This includes a clear authority matrix (sometimes called a RACI map) that clearly defines which people and groups are accountable for, accountable to consulting on or being informed about specific topics and when those roles and responsibilities are fulfilled.