If your board of directors wants to evaluate its own performance, start by setting aside time on the next board meeting agenda for reflection on these five questions:
- Does everyone around the board table answer this question the same way: on whose behalf are we legally and/or morally accountable?
- Do we have a regular way of engaging with our legal/moral ownership that includes listening to them as owners (rather than as customers or other stakeholders)?
- Do we have a clear and transparent process for translating ownership input into direction that is delegated to our CEO/Executive Director?
- Can we show that all authority our CEO/Executive Director is using has originated from direction (at some level) set out by the board as a whole?
- Do we have an evidence-based way to show our owners that this organization is achieving what it should and avoiding what is unacceptable, further to their input?
See also: Policy Governance: Six Benefits over the ‘Traditional’ Approach