The board of directors is expected to provide guidance and supervise a variety of business issues. To accomplish this they must be active in their work. This includes delivering on their decision-making obligations, completing the assignments of committee members, and managing meetings efficiently. It also involves evaluating the traditional practices and introducing new ones that enhance efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of the board.
Attending meetings regularly is a good indicator of the board’s commitment to good governance and, consequently, to the value creation task that the company depends on them to carry out. Yet it’s not enough. Nell Minow, a shareholder activist, explains that “the boards of a number of our most revered corporations have weak or no records of attendance.” Some of the most famous names on these boards rarely show up, and even when they do show up they’re often not prepared.
Induction programmes tailored to the needs of directors who are new to the board assist them in becoming familiar with their companies. Continuous education keeps board members informed about changes in law and business that could impact their responsibilities. There is a rising number of boards are establishing board culture initiatives that promote openness, trust, and collaboration to help make better decisions and achieve strategic goals.
Certain boards choose to delegate certain of their responsibilities non-board members who have specific expertise, contacts or experience. This enables a wider array of people to participate in the activities of the board, gives busy professionals an opportunity to contribute to their cause, and helps to develop talent for future board positions.