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People

An effective board has the right people in the boardroom, with all the skills, knowledge, experience, attitudes and networks needed to drive the agreed priorities. It works well as a team, and provides leadership to all the people in an organisation. Knowing how to get the best out of people is one of the key elements to being a leader.

In this section you will find information on how to recruit the right people, and develop them so that your board is the most effective it can be.

Introduction

Did you ever think about speaking up in a board meeting and then decide not to because you didn’t want to be impolite or seem like a misfit?  If so, you may have been a victim of "Groupthink". Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when the desire for group consensus overrides people's common sense desire to present alternatives, critique a position, or express an unpopular opinion. The desire for board team cohesion and courtesy can drive out good decision-making and problem solving.  Board members who stay silent too often risk becoming frustrated and disillusioned, resulting in a loss of enthusiasm and reduced creativity.

Video: Elements of the Leading Governance Model - People

Good governance relies on having the right people around the board table. Joy Allen discusses this vital element of the Leading Governance model.

Boards may sometimes encounter problems if the division of responsibilities between the board and staff is unclear. The purpose of this board briefing is to outline the key roles and responsibilities of the board, board members, the chair, and the CEO. This will help provide clarity for your own organisation.

There are many attributes which combine to make a terrific Chair. Like all great leaders, it is easy to recognise an effective Chair when you see them, but pinning down what they have in common can be a bit more difficult. The following list highlights the top 10 attributes we think all great Chairs share.

Having the right people on your board is absolutely fundamental to ensuring the organisation is run effectively and efficiently. As with any recruitment exercise, it is important to consider what role the board members will have, and the skills, knowledge and experience they need. The purpose of this Board briefing is to highlight the key steps in recruiting Board members.

Having the right people on your board is a key element in ensuring the organisation is run effectively and efficiently. As with any recruitment exercise, it is important to consider what role the board members will have, and the skills, knowledge and experience they need. The purpose of this board briefing is to highlight the key requirements for effective board members, and show how these can be developed into a role description.

Video: The Importance of the Board / Senior Management Team Relationship

In this video, Joy Allen discusses the importance of the relationship between the board and the senior management team.

A person specification outlines the skills, knowledge, behaviours and qualities needed for someone to be effective in a role. Person specifications are used along with a role description to recruit effective board members, particularly in competency-based recruitment systems. The purpose of this board briefing is to help you consider what should be included in a person specification to ensure you get the right person for your board.

A skilled board chair is vital to the delivery of effective governance, and to the development and maintenance of constructive working relationships. It is important that the role holder is aware of their responsibilities, and is willing, able, and sufficiently committed, to fulfil them effectively.

The role of board member is to ensure that the organisation complies with all statutory and legal responsibilities, and that the organisation is successful. Board members ensure that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times. Board members are responsible for ensuring the overall strategic direction of the organisation, and oversee the delivery of results by monitoring performance against agreed strategic objectives and targets.

The role of the vice chair is to deputise for the chair of the board when needed. The vice chair should also support and assist the chair in building the board team to ensure that high standards of corporate governance are observed at all times.

The role of the chair of the audit committee is to lead the committee and ensure that it makes appropriate recommendations to the board on matters including the organisation’s risk management, internal controls and compliance with legal and statutory obligations.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

New board members will want to contribute to the organisation as quickly as possible. A well thought out induction programme will help them ‘hit the ground running’. The purpose of this board briefing is to help you consider what needs to be included in your induction programme.

The purpose of this Board briefing is to help you consider what needs to be included in your induction programme. The checklist presented here is not exhaustive and should be augmented with your own organisation-specific elements.

As the most senior officer in the organisation, it is important that the board ensures the performance of the chief executive officer (CEO) is reviewed on a regular basis in order to help them realise their full potential in their role. The purpose of this board briefing is to outline the key steps involved in conducting a CEO performance review.

Download form as Word document or PDF.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of effectiveness in thinking, language and behaviour. It asks ‘what is the difference that makes the difference?’ and provides useful tools for quality communication that gets results. By understanding how you are processing thoughts, and what words you are using to convey meaning to others, you can work on enhancing your communications to influence the responses of others.

Coaching is increasingly being used by people in senior positions in organisations, to support their personal and professional development. Particularly for board members and senior executives, telling people what to do is a much less effective way of getting co-operation and commitment than asking people ‘what do you feel is the best way to tackle this?’ The use of a coaching style by the Chairman to communicate with board members and senior staff can support effective communication, learning and development.

Under the Companies Act 2006, all public companies are required to appoint a company secretary.  Private companies are not required to appoint a company secretary (unless their Articles of Association require it), but they may do so.  If no Company Secretary is appointed by a private company, the tasks which used to be their responsibility still need to be done.  The law does not state explicit

What are CLOSED questions?
What are OPEN questions?
What are PROBING questions?

Mentoring is increasingly being used by people in senior positions in organisations, to support their personal and professional development. Particularly for board members and senior executives, it can be a very useful way of getting specific solutions to challenges, at times and places that can be totally flexible. Having an experienced and trusted advisor to call upon when needed can be a real boost to confidence and performance.

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