Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness

Background
Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness

The boardroom is a complex political arena. It is a place where:

  • uncertainties are the norm
  • ambiguities are ever-present
  • evidence is scarce
  • opinions are often divided
  • loyalties are tested continuously
  • options are not clear-cut
  • conflicts of interest abound

However, the role of the board is one of leadership and, in order to lead effectively, it has to be both decisive and present a single and undivided case for action.

It manages to do this through a process of compromise. Compromise is a perfectly honourable and legitimate process when addressed in the right spirit. It is also essential when interests conflict.

Boards often get consumed by too many tactical issues. Whereas tactics involve the immediate deployment of resources, strategy is driven by a vision of the future. Strategic issues are boardroom affairs whilst tactical manoeuvres are the concern of executives.

Boards are now under increasing levels of scrutiny from their own subsidiary operations as well as shareholders and may be seen more as a cost centre than a source of value; particularly where operating authority has been largely devolved to subsidiaries. Thus boards need to understand how to add value both from the company's and shareholders' perspective.

Our Approach
Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness

CPS has the skill and experience to work with boards to help:

  • chairs to understand the discreet nature of the role of chair – to conduct board affairs not run the business
  • board members to master the art of advocacy in order to shape and present an argument in a short period of time
  • board members to enhance their ability to unearth evidence through honing their enquiry skills
  • the board explore the relationship between itself and the rest of the organisation and, in particular, how its values, behaviours and attitudes impact the behaviour of the organisation as a whole
  • gain insight into unconscious dynamics within the board which may adversely affect performance
  • the board explore the critical relationships between roles (in particular executive and non-executive) rather than personal relationships between individuals

Individual behavioural issues unearthed during the course of this process, which may have a negative impact on board performance, are usually dealt with separately in one-to-one mentoring and coaching sessions.

See One-to-One Executive Mentoring and Coaching
The CPS Framework

CPS believes that progress can be made over a relatively short period of time. A typical format would be three two-hour meetings with a gap of four to six weeks between meetings. This allows boards to have time to reflect on and experiment with new forms of behaviour.

To create the most effective working environment, we encourage meetings to take place away from the board’s normal meeting place.