No board is 100% effective. But the imperfection varies. On a scale of 1 (ineffective) to 10 (effective), what is the degree of your board imperfection?
Just like no person is perfect. No board is perfect. When I joined the council of ICGU, the then Chief Executive Officer, Samuel F. Owori, invited the newly appointed members for an orientation meeting. “You need to understand what everything about ICGU so that you are able to perform your oversight role effectively”, he said. For a whole day, he told us about the background of ICGU, gave us copies of key documents about the Institute, including the constitution, strategic plan, financial reports, profiles of all board members and senior executive staff, and the CEO expectations of the Council as well the Council charter or manual.
He gave us a strong start. In one day, we knew a lot about the ICGU, our mandate and areas that needed our urgent attention. That is what great CEO’s do. They make it their business to empower the board to support them.
To win, boards reduce the imperfection by:
1) Understanding the organisation on whose boards they serve. Can you read and interpret financial statements?
2) Board members taking note of emerging trends and potential implications for the business?
3) Anticipating opportunities strategically and explore capabilities to tap into them for the business success
4) How do you leverage technology to win? Which systems must you implement to manage compliance and avoid possible legal risks that expose the company to huge cashflow problems?
All boards are imperfect. Quality board practices and processes make reduce the imperfection. Adequate board induction training, quality of board packs, effective board chairman and seriousness of the individual board members in terms of researching and reading about the industry and company go a long way in making the board a transformational one.
Is your board effective?
You don’t have to be a CEO to empower the Board. Ask, were you inducted? What do you know about the business? If not, as a board member, cause for an induction so that you don’t move in darkness. You have high chances of having a head-on collision. It could be fatal to your career.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.