Our biggest learning of the last 15 plus years is that boards are much more complicated than most people think. Our research has shown that there are 20 discrete dimensions of a board’s effectiveness – not five, not 10 or 14 but 20! That’s a lot of things to get right – and each one is important. Getting any one or two of them badly wrong can be devastating for a board and consequently an organisation.
When we show people those 20 discrete dimensions, they look at each and agree that they wouldn’t want to exclude any of them from the consideration of a board’s effectiveness. They also say they can’t think of any other areas of effectiveness to add to the list. But it took us nearly 15 years and the help of Deakin University to work out what we all now see as the bleeding obvious. Here is our framework of those 20 discrete dimensions of a board’s effectiveness.
Research shows the effective functioning of a board is a very important contributor to an organisation’s success. Also, a significant number of corporate failures and scandals have been attributed to board mismanagement, conflicts and ineffectiveness. We hope you don’t need to be convinced that Better Boards means Better Organisations.
Appropriate benchmarking means comparing your board’s responses with the survey response of similar boards for that same survey item. It is equally important not to benchmark boards of large-listed organisations against small not for profit or government organisations or visa versa. That’s why appropriate benchmarking against comparable boards makes all the difference.