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Board team working with clarity at the top

How do successful boards elevate their collective performance to far outweigh the sum of the individual contributions of the directors? How do boards work together optimally so that friction is minimised and output is high? What is it that makes board team working different to other forms of team working?

Some boardroom challenges include:

  • Infrequent meetings (perhaps as few as four or six times a year) that results in at least part of the meeting being used up to play catch up on what has been happening rather than thinking about and taking decisions on what needs to happen. Infrequent meetings take away from having a strong sense of group identity and purpose that are so valuable for effective teamwork.
  • OvationXL work with many Boards where we find one or two directors taking a far too passive role when their contribution is needed, particularly when the CEO knows privately of their support.
  • One or two directors, including the CEO, or chairman may adapt too much of a telling role which allows the other directors to sit, listen and often revert to answering more important messages on their Blackberrys hidden just below table level.
  • There is little structure to meetings with no pre-agreed agenda.
  • Too much time is spent discussing routine matters with insufficient time spent thinking strategically and commercially.
  • Little accountability is allocated when decisions are taken. Minute taking may be non-existent relying too much on individual directors to take their own notes.
  • The board is composed of people with an imbalance of skill sets required for the current business going forward.
  • The terms of reference for the Board may be unclear. Is it clear how success of the Board as a whole and the individual contributions are to be measured?
  • Does each Director have respect for the key strengths and behavioural preferences of their fellow board members?

Your new strengths and abilities

  • Improved format to meetings.
  • Techniques to build mutual trust and respect for fellow Board members.
  • Greater accountability.
  • Techniques introduced to create interest by varying one’s style of delivery.

Did you know?

Continuing board effectiveness has to be actively worked at and the chairman is primarily responsible for this.

Who would benefit?

All businesses and organisations who have a Board of Directors, Management teams of professional partnerships and Boards of Trustees.

To discuss a current or potential need, contact Robin Johnson at OvationXL on 07774 415 561 or

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