Board Charter and Manual

Ambiguity the culprit when things go awry – Part IV

As mentioned earlier in this series of blogs, conducting the board skills and diversity exercise has both immediate and longer-term benefit, the latter dealing with succession planning.
That’s the focus of Section Sixteen, where we put in place measures to ensure that when members retire or resign, the composition of our board is handled in a proactive fashion, thus increasing the chances of achieving the diversity required to do the organisation justice.

In Section Seventeen, we turn the spotlight on ‘Board Performance Evaluation’, with the recommendation that the performance of the Board, chair, the members and the various board committees are evaluated each year – and according to an agreed process.

I’ll skim over what’s in the next three chapters – Eighteen, Nineteen and Twenty – as, while focused on the CEO, they essentially contain information that has more or less been covered under other headings.
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Ambiguity the culprit when things go awry – Part III

A reminder what we’re all about as we reach the halfway mark in our crusade towards clarity – we’re listing those topics that should form part of and be dealt with in detail in a Board Charter.

Section Eight takes us to ‘Board Skills and Diversity’, where the charter will list the skills and diversity the board requires if it is to meet the organisation’s strategic needs.

To arrive at this list, we’ll first need to identify the skills we’d require to have the ideal board.  By comparing them with those already brought to the board by the existing members, we’ll soon see where the gaps are – information that will become very important when replacing a member who suddenly resigns or planning for succession. Continue reading

Ambiguity the culprit when things go awry – Part II

Continuing with our crusade towards clarity – and ever mindful that ‘as clear as mud’ creates chaos – let’s start by exploring Section Four and its subject matter of ‘The Board Role and Functions’, which traditionally contains general, overarching explanations about the primary roles and functions of the board.

It delves into matters such as accountability, strategy, risk, the performance of the CEO and all the other main high-level responsibilities.

In Section Five, we look at ‘Office Bearers’, those public officers such as the Company Secretary, and provides a concise position description for each.
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Ambiguity the culprit when things go awry

My experience, over a good number of years in the governance field, is that the vast majority of board members are dedicated and committed people, desperate to do the best possible job, eager to serve on an effective, successful and respected board.

I’d go so far as to say this applies to 90 per cent of the men and women on Australian boards – but I’d also hazard a guess that when and where things go awry, there’s one common thread, 100 per cent of the time.

Clarity. Or, more to the point, lack of it.

Thankfully, there’s a readymade solution and it comes in the form of a document. Continue reading