This blog is part of #Brandhorizon business talks – Leading the present, Shaping the future  


Survey statistics published by  Mckinsey  in an Article “Towards a value creating Board”   makes one introspect and  visualize how Independent Boards can be more  effective and value added and more significantly , leave a foot print as they exit  the organizations, whose board they have served .  The Mckinsey survey exhibit -6 of the Article , lays down comparison on various criteria between  Directors at Striving Boards ,Directors at Complacent Boards and Directors at Ineffective Boards. I will pick  three important parameters having wide disparity between the type of Boards .  

And I quote from the exhibit -

  • There is a culture of trust and respect  in the board room –  While it is as high as 88 % at Striving Boards ,it is only 39% in  Ineffective Boards.
  • Board and Management team members constructively challenge each other in meetings -While it is at 76% in Striving  Boards, it is a meagre 44% in Companies with ineffective Boards.
  • Board members seek out relevant information beyond what the management provides,to deepen their knowledge .   The percentage is 62% in Striving Boards versus 31% atCompanies with ineffective Boards.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unquote

It is even worse in case of family businesses where Majority of Board are family members picked merely to meet statutory regulations and most decisions tend to get taken on dinner tables . More often than not, personal interests take priority over Corporate interests and so decision making tend to be a long drawn process, thereby hurting company businesses in multiple  ways.  .  That said , the onus rests equally on the Company Management and the Independent directors to ensure that full potential of the directors –both Individual and Collective - are unleashed towards Company growth ,Culture and Long term sustainability .


Few thoughts on how the gap  reflected by the Survey above can be bridged  -

       From Company perspective

  • Organisations need to have a formal and strategized selection process for evaluating and inducting Board members based on Company Vision , Current gaps and Expertise and Skill sets needed to bridge the gap. This way optimum leverage could be achieved in terms of Collective contributions.
  • There has to be a 360 deg evaluation of Board contributions periodically to assess contributions and also  continued fit with a futuristic approach .This would inculcate a sense  of accountability and responsibility.
  • A culture  that encourages Independent directors to challenge Strategy ,Risk management  and Investment actions in a healthy spirit would help to fully utilize their expertise and skill sets. Informal connects with the management  other than just during Board meetings  may help to achieve this.

        From Individual perspective

  •  A director would have to exercise abundant caution to achieve an optimum balance between micro management and passive participation so as to be a gentle influencer.
  • Conscious efforts should be made  to stay updated on the Competitive landscape and market dynamics  in order to align well the management approach
  • Independent director has an important role to play in driving Corporate governance and Environment , Health and Safety issues and thereby maintain the #brandreputation of the Company across all stakeholders .
  • They also have an onerous responsibility ( not merely for fiduciary reasons)  to promote best practices in CSR activities and monitor metrics of  CSR Investments in order to ensure the objectives aligned with company ethics and core values are indeed achieved.

# Independent board members  likely to survive multiple CEO changes and therefore are well placed to add significant value from  the huge know  created along the learning curve and  partner with management  in  objective , effective and meaningful contributions towards growth of the Company and its long term survival.

If you are looking for # Interim Management  or  #Transformational leadership support  , #Brandhorizon can help in

  • # Non Executive Board services
  • # Corporatisation of Family businesses
  • # Mergers/Acquisitions end to end
  • Executive Leadership Support for turnaround.


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