It may seem pedantic but the question of whether a Board is a ‘team’ or a ‘group’ is a profound one and has ramifications that are far-reaching. Over the years we have watched this embracing of Board teaming, shift an organisation’s effectiveness, so here’s our checklist of nine criteria. Perhaps you can reflect on your Board?
1. Team Purpose: Your Board has a unique, collectively articulated purpose which distinguishes it from the executive team.
2. Shared Goals: The Board’s focus on common outcomes is reflected in concise, repeatable materials including your Theory of Change, Strategic Plan and CEO responsibilities.
3. Complementary Expertise: Your Board’s composition accurately reflects your strategic plan, bringing diverse expertise and perspectives to allow collaborative problem-solving.
4. Joint Accountability: You operate in a way that reflects your shared responsibility morally and legally.
5. Collective Decision Making: Your critical decisions are arrived at through debate and consensus building, drawing on your varied perspectives to arrive at robust conclusions.
6. Team Leader as Facilitator: Your Chair’s core skill is facilitation. They unlock insights and perspectives from the group, create safety, and support healthy board renewal.
7. Stakeholder Orientation: Your Board collectively agrees on who its most important stakeholders are both internally and externally and defines its success based on how it balances these needs.
8. Long-Term Orientation: Your Board looks beyond immediate gains and pressures, care-taking the long-term future health of the organisation.
9. Continual Improvement: Your Board knows that team effectiveness is a muscle that is built over time, and pauses to work on the team at critical junctures, like when new members join.
Our experience is that the most valuable Board Directors are attracted to healthy teams. What’s more satisfying than being part of a high functioning team!
If you’re curious how we could support your Board’s development in respectful ways, we’d love to chat!