Tip #95 How Can Boards Assess Their Own Performance?

August 1, 2023  |  tips for effective boards

Some ideas for boards assessing their own performance follow:


1.       Ongoing self-monitoring of board performance. A board can monitor its performance related to its board job description and any other expectations it may have articulated for itself in its board policies or elsewhere. A Policy Governance board expresses its expectations for itself in two types of board policies: Governance Process policies that express its expectations for its internal operations and Board-Management Delegation policies that express its expectations for itself in its relationship with management. Governance Process policies may include policies like the following: Board Job Description, Governance Style, Board Members Code of Conduct, Board Committees, Board Agenda Planning, Roles of Board Officers, etc. Board-Management Delegation policies may include policies like the following: Delegation to the CEO, Accountability of the CEO, Monitoring CEO Performance, etc. A board may have a total of about 15 or so Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation policies. After these policies are developed, a Policy Governance board sets up a schedule (over perhaps one or two years) for assessing its performance with respect to each of these Governance Process and Board-Management Delegation policies. Depending on how often a board meets and the overall time period for the planned performance review related these policies, a board may discuss its performance related to two or three such policies at each board meeting. Generally, such discussions will be brief. If significant issues arise that require a lengthier discussion, these may be scheduled for discussion at a subsequent board meeting.


2.       Self-assessment surveys. The following survey questionnaires are available on the Boards On Course website: Board Meeting Evaluation Form, Board Self-Assessment Survey Form (for all boards), and Fidelity Assessment Form (for boards practicing Policy Governance). Please email me in response to this email or email me at jpbohley@gmail.com and I will send you Word document versions of any of these assessment questionnaires so that they can be customized for use by your board. To check out these three assessment questionnaires, please click on https://www.BoardsOnCourse.com/resources.  


3.       Assessment by an external consultant. An external consultant may develop an assessment of board performance as a result of activities like the following: interviews of individual board members including board offices and key staff that report to the board or provide support services for the board, review of board meeting minutes, observation of board meetings, review of any documentation of board ongoing self-monitoring and self-assessment activities, compilation and analysis of board member responses to survey questionnaires such as those mentioned above, etc.


To learn more about the Policy Governance® model, please click https://www.BoardsOnCourse.com/policy-governance.