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Effective Board Management Requires a Strong Support Infrastructure

Effective board management requires directors to take their responsibilities seriously and commit to the process, and work to keep improving. It also requires a strong infrastructure to assist the board and let them achieve their goals. This includes the tools, processes and systems in place for meeting planning, development of materials the management of portals as well as logistics and communications.

The most effective boards are characterized by a continuous study of important, mission-critical drivers as well as opportunities and risks, and an emphasis on key stakeholder involvement. This means requesting reports on customer, supplier, and other key stakeholders’ behavior and trends. Also, it is about economic headwinds and opportunity. It involves going out in the field and seeing how the company operates firsthand. Then, bring these findings back to the board to discuss.

This pillar is built on the trust and respect between the board members. They must be present to permit high-quality debates and discussions. It also requires a culture in which it is acceptable and even expected that the board members will not agree with management.

The capacity of the board to accomplish its job is contingent on the quality and accessibility of the information. Leading boards are able to efficiently make decisions by maintaining an information infrastructure that is compatible with the board’s mission and engagement model as well as its vision for excellence. This includes a clear matrix of authority (sometimes referred to as a RACI Map) that clearly determines who is responsible and accountable, as well as consultative or knowledgeable about specific subjects and when these roles and the responsibilities have been met.

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