Updated: Jul 23, 2021
Does your board follow governance best practices? Do you need to adjust your board culture and composition? Are policies and procedures up to date and aligned with necessary regulations? How is your board tackling the mounting concerns about board diversity? What scope do you have to question and challenge the status quo?
Board Directors’ focus has often, and understandably so, been monopolised by a laundry list of issues to be discussed and does not focus on its own efficacy. The boards own performance, effectiveness, processes and habits receive scant reflection. Many directors are happy to leave the corporate secretary with the task of keeping sight of governance best practices; certainly they do not regard it as their own responsibility.
Increased regulatory pressures are now pushing boards toward greater responsibility, transparency and self-awareness. Boards of directors, in many countries, particularly those of large organisations, have functioned too long without independent review and external objectivity. However, in some countries, annual board reviews have become compulsory. Thea evaluation aims to identify where a more heterogeneous mix of specialisations, cultures and professional experiences entails a willingness to revise some unwritten rules that, in many instances, have governed board functions. And that is not without risk.
At the same time, the “diversity recruits” wooed for board positions may not know the explicit, let alone the implicit, rules. Some doubtless never anticipated they would be asked to join a board. Such invitations often come out of the blue, with little motivation or clarity about what is expected from the new recruit or how to best integrate them successfully. And, no universal guidelines are available to aid candidates as they decide whether to accept their invitation.
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