The board is accountable to its ownership to see that the defined purpose as identified in the initiating legal documents (Articles of Incorporation or any other form of creating the corporate entity) is achieved. The board serves as the agent of the owners and as such is obligated to look out for the safety and soundness of the organization.

In our thinking, “owners” are those with moral ownership, if not legal ownership of the organization. Some find the term “sources of board authority” as a more user-friendly term for the ownership.

Owners care about the long term sustainability and impacts of the organization. The owner mindset is different than a customer mindset. Customers are those who are receiving or seek to receive a specific benefit or service of the organization. Customers are the primary concern of the operational organization.

The board’s primary responsibility and concern is with the ownership. The board is the official link between the ownership and the operational organization.

In general, the board has nine basic responsibilities:

#1. Hire a chief executive. Read more

#2. Support chief exec and evaluate performance. Read more

#3. Determine Strategic Direction Read more

#4. Assure effective organizational planning. Read more

#5. Assure availability of resources and protection of assets. Read more

#6. Maintain oversight of programs and services. Read more

#7. Enhance public image. Read more

#8. Assure legal and ethical behavior and accountability. Read more

#9. Build governance capacity and evaluate the board’s own performance. Read more