Taking committees to task
— Governance Matters (@GovernanceMatt) August 18, 2016
As mentioned in Part I of our discussion on types of committees versus task forces, the key differences are longevity and composition.
Governance committees are permanent structures, made up of board members, there to advise the board in an ongoing capacity. The board might also create shorter-term task forces – bodies like a building committee to oversee the construction of a new building. These task forces will typically comprise a mix of board members and external industry experts. They will then disband once the project is over.
There is, however, one exception!
Committees designing horses key to board governance
— Governance Matters (@GovernanceMatt) August 4, 2016
We’re all familiar with the analogy that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
It’s a rather unflattering comment on the ineffectiveness that can arise when too many people with conflicting opinions need to arrive at a decision that, by definition, will reek of compromise.
Which is why the composition of committees – and, indeed, their close relations, task forces – is so important to a board fulfilling its primary governance function of wise and considered decision-making. The board needs the help, input and assistance from various committees to allow it to do just that.