Board Evaluation

Revitalise Your Board: The Importance of a Board Health Check 

Board evaluations come in all different shapes and sizes, often called reviews, evaluations, or Grounded’s preference, health checks. No matter the title, the core idea remains the same: understanding and improving board performance.  

Throughout our experience with boards, we have seen many that think that an internal health check is satisfactory. We’ve heard of the Chair picking favourable questions, some that directly call directors for answers, and some boards that don’t do them at all. It is no surprise to us, that these approaches can often overlook critical issues. A truly effective evaluation should be unbiased and thorough, shedding light on both strengths and areas that need improvement.  

Board Review Conversation
Why External Evaluations Matter 

According to the 2022/2023 GNDI Future of Board Governance Survey, over 50% of directors believe that board evaluations are critical for improving board performance, making it a top priority. Additionally, 30% of directors considered upgrading their board evaluation processes a significant area for improvement in the next 3 to 5 years.  

Despite these findings, our recent attendance at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Leadership Conference in May revealed a surprising fact: more than half of the represented boards had never conducted an external board review. This statistic underscores a missed opportunity for many boards to gain valuable insights and foster growth. The disparity between these statistics also sheds light on potential differences in priorities between directors and chairs. The chair bearing the responsibility of coordinating board evaluations. 

The Unique Value of Grounded Governance’s Board Healthcheck

Developed by Future Directors, this unique tool is available exclusively through Grounded Governance in New Zealand. This partnership allows us to provide a comprehensive evaluation that is not just another generic review, but a tailored and insightful process designed to supercharge your board’s performance.

At Grounded Governance, we believe governance should be enjoyable, grounded in expertise, and down-to-earth. Our Evaluation product, the Board Healthcheck is a comprehensive tool designed to assess and enhance the overall effectiveness of your board.

Governance Team Evaluations
So… What is a Board Evaluation? 

A board evaluation is a process to review the performance and effectiveness of a company’s board of directors. It examines various aspects of the board’s work, such as individual directors’ contributions, the board’s overall performance, and its governance practices. The goal is to identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement to enhance the board’s overall effectiveness in fulfilling its responsibilities. 

The Grounded Process 

Our Board Healthcheck process is designed to fit seamlessly into your board’s routine: 

      1. Online Evaluation: Board members anonymously answer 150 questions across 15 performance categories. This takes about 60 minutes and provides a comprehensive view of the board’s functioning. 
      2. Detailed Report: Our team generate a detailed report, highlighting key findings and insights. This report compares the Chair’s responses with those of the board members, offering a well-rounded perspective.
      3. Facilitated Session: A Governance Expert then guides the board through the report, discussing key themes and developing a strategic plan to address identified opportunities. This session lasts 2-3 hours and can be conducted in person or online. 

Performance Categories 

The Board Health Check covers crucial areas of board performance, such as roles and responsibilities, strategy development, risk and financial management, stakeholder engagement, decision making, and board composition. It also evaluates diversity and inclusion, board culture, leadership, and how well the board works as a team. By covering these areas, we ensure a comprehensive assessment that highlights both strengths and opportunities for growth. 

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Benefits of a Board Health Check 

Conducting a Board Health Check offers numerous benefits: 

      • Gain a clear, unbiased understanding of your board’s current performance and areas for improvement. 
      • Develop a strategic plan to address identified themes and opportunities, enhancing overall board performance. 
      • Improve performance with professional facilitation and a structured approach, significantly improving the board’s effectiveness and impact.
         
Why It Matters 

Regular evaluations are essential for maintaining an effective board. Without periodic assessments, many boards miss critical issues that can affect their performance and the organisation’s success. By proactively engaging in a Board Health Check, you ensure that your board is not only meeting its responsibilities but also thriving. 

Frequency: How Often Should Your Board Conduct Evaluations? 

One of the key considerations in board governance is the frequency of board evaluations. While the most common practice suggests conducting evaluations annually, at Grounded, we recommend internal reviews should be annually and external evaluations every two to three years. 

Regardless of the evaluation frequency chosen, the crucial aspect is ensuring that a formal process is consistently followed. This approach ensures that any findings from previous evaluations are addressed in a timely manner, thereby promoting continuous improvement in board performance and governance practices.

At Grounded Governance, we believe in proactive governance. Our Board Health Check helps boards operate at their best, addressing issues before they become significant problems and continuously improving governance practices. 

Begin fostering a stronger, high-performing team today.

Book your Board Health Check and set your board on the path to lasting success.