Trending Now

How Collaborative Is Your Board and Executive Team?

In some company cultures, executives feel their board members are coaches. Others think they are cops. Rather, it should be a collaboration. Strengthening effective collaboration between the executive team and the board helps build a high-performing organization. It leads to more open communication, constructive discussion, and strategic decision-making built on relationships that are grounded in trust, alignment, and communication

The CEO and executive team are responsible for driving excellent engagement with their Board. Every Executive team fully understands the incredible difference it makes to have a highly supportive Board that balances constructive intelligent challenge, debate, and oversight with great expertise, encouragement, “independence of mind” and support that adds significant value to the Executive Team.

Yet, many executive teams are unsure about what ‘great’ looks like. What is the model for a healthy executive team and board engagement? As a result, many executive teams struggle to identify what they could do differently that will improve relations and effectiveness.

A recent study by our diagnostic partner, Mirror Mirror, researched the pain points between boards and executive teams. Key factors included:

  • Lack of trust
  • Poor decision-making
  • Lack of openness
  • Poor quality of debate
  • Inadequate reporting
  • Micro-management by the board

These are the leading causes of frustration and inefficiency – complicated by significant levels of misalignment within and between the two groups.

Executive teams can function with an average relationship with their board, but it’s not a solution for the long run. It ultimately inhibits the organization’s ability to perform to its maximum potential. When challenging times come around (as experienced with the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn), the combined executive team and board must excel in partnership for driving long-term sustainable success for the organization’s shareholders, stakeholders, customers and employees.

The Board Engagement Module: A New Diagnostic Assessment Tool to Help Improve Board/Executive Collaboration

Mirror Mirror, a team of highly experienced diagnostic experts helps organizations understand the extent of alignment between their boards and executive teams. Based on expert knowledge from Board Excellence, a leading advisor to boards of directors based in Ireland, Mirror Mirror has developed a new diagnostic assessment that identifies levels of alignment and engagement between executive teams and their boards. The diagnostic assesses eight focus areas based on executive team members’ perceptions.

This assessment incorporates what ‘great’ looks like from the executive team perspective and crucially integrates this with the expectations of boards to enable a progressive engagement model that empowers the executive team and board to excel together for all stakeholders.

It provides practical recommendations for executives for healthier, more constructive ways to approach communication and engagement with their board. Through this improved communication and engagement, a greater level of trust can grow, leading to high-quality board and committee meetings that add significant value, sharper reporting, healthier challenge, and debate, improved strategic focus, greater support, and value-add from the non-executive directors and most importantly, it improves decision-making.

This data-driven assessment is entirely confidential, allowing executives a platform to share their observations and views, easily and safely. The output is a detailed report showing the extent of alignment between respondents on each metric, alongside commentary and recommendations based on the results. The recommendations are based on deep experience of supporting executive teams and their boards, including practical advice on what can be done to achieve positive change.

A more valuable, collaborative, trusting, and effective working relationship with your board is within reach. A critical first step toward achieving this is an honest structured assessment of the current working relationship, how it compares with best practices, and embracing the practical recommendations to drive sustained improvement in how your executive team works with your board.

We are happy to conduct an assessment and assist with recommendations for your board and team to strengthen your collaboration in the future.


This article was originally published here.

Donna Hamlin

Dr. Donna Hamlin leads CHROs2Go, a division of the 2GoAdvisory Group, and is CEO of BoardWise. Donna has 30 years of corporate, governance and strategy consulting experience. She has a successful track record in human performance management and strategy change management and has served clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 global enterprises in more than 30 countries. As CEO of BoardWise, she oversee the organization's global programs, including its centers and their services. These include: board evaluations, professional certification and training, its global registry of qualified directors, Board Bona Fide®, its strategic partnership programs and its BoardWise center. She is certified for governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors in the U.S. and in global governance by Harvard University. Donna holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a B.A. degree from Siena College and has studied at the University of London. A published author, she writes management articles in the area of strategy, brand value management, change and human performance management. She holds various board directorships.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top Back to top