Brian Cavanagh CONSULTING

Leadership lessons – in praise of board assessment

In these uncertain times, how do you know your if your charity board is performing and effective?

One way is an evaluation process including board self-assessment. It would be hard to find a board that does not have a process to evaluate CEO effectiveness. Yet a lot charity boards do not evaluate their own effectiveness, or if they do, it is infrequent.

Evidence from a US National Index of Not for Profit boards shows better performance between those who evaluate and those who do not. It seems obvious.

So why the resistance? Let us recognise performance assessments often raise anxiety and even fear amongst us all, including board members. However, without monitoring and feedback, it is difficult to evaluate whether your board is effective.

I have been subject to an assessment process as well providing it to boards. In my experience it is vital to get members buy-in. So, as a first step, talk to members about their concerns, and how they can get involved. For ease, use an independent person to lead and report on the findings from the process. Start off with a simple self-assessment and agree it as a regular process.

If you think this might benefit your board, why not get in touch and I can share how it works.