Creating Excellence in Board Leadership

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Evaluating Board Performance

Everyone is in favor of performance reviews so long as it doesn’t involve them.

Good leadership at the board level involves a rigorous review of board performance. Boards have a tendency to view executive performance as the only evaluation necessary – an erroneous conclusion. In fact, the best evaluations of executive performance are grounded in exact and transparent reviews of board performance.

This is a revelation for most boards, especially in the non-profit arena!

In a national study (by USA/Hendrick & Struggles) regarding overall board effectiveness only 60% rated their directors as “effective,” and only 31% rated their directors as “very effective.”

Executives have confidence in, and readily submit to, boards that hold themselves accountable to strong benchmarks of leadership behavior; in particular boards who spend quality time assessing the effectiveness of their own performance.

True improvement in Board performance requires precise evaluation means collectively and individually. Findings should be shared openly and transparently and personal accountability must flourish.

There are a variety of means to enhance this commitment, many of which can be found on line via numerous vendors. Good means do not have to be arduous or complex. Whatever the means, the most important thing is for an evaluation to be fair, objective and useful. Therefore, performance must be measured against approved board criteria; namely, board policy – things like values, norms and job products.

To be sure, the first few rounds of evaluating board performance will be tenuous. Some board members will be fearful of findings, how to treat suggestions for improvement, or worse, how to respond to a failing grade. However, in the context of good deliberation responsible board members will respond positively to the encouragement of their peers. Improved board performance, collectively and individually, will thrive.

Logicboard offers an innovative and highly successful model for board leadership and governance. It brings detail and coaching to the items listed above. Contact us today for more information.

PO Box 5010 Bloomington, IL 61702
Phone:309-275-9734 or 309-287-0834