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Board Self Assessment

An undisciplined board undermines the accountability of the CEO. Not following your policies is an issue of organizational integrity. How can you expect the CEO to follow policy if the Board doesn't?

The importance of the board following its own policies cannot be over emphasized. Policy Governance boards use a systematic self-assessment process to keep themselves on track and in integrity with its policies. Board self-assessment is a continuous improvement process to help the board recognize when it is not in integrity with its own policies.

Here are a few of the Board Self Assessment topics you may be looking for:

  • Options for conducting board assessment

    Your policy probably makes the commitment to conduct self assessment by at least focusing on it at each meeting but how it gets done varies widely. In some cases it is merely an item on the agenda, often at the end, which asks the board to reflect on how well it conformed with its commitments in policy. In some cases there might be a different policy focus during each meeting or an annual review. Some boards appoint a process observer, and in some cases we have been asked to come in to observe and assess a board in action because its policy or monitoring schedule calls for a periodic External Inspection. Any of these are acceptable if they work for you. What we have seen work best, though it is much more detailed than other options, is to develop a monitoring schedule for each policy in Board Means (Governance Process and Board Management Delegation) to ensure that the commitments made in each of your policies gets reviewed at least once a year.

    Click to read a short description of some Self Assessment options.

  • Developing improvement plans

    Board improvement plans generally require identifying some gap in process or performance and then undertaking the necessary changes in process or procedure and/or the necessary training to improve. Often this becomes an added item to the existing Annual Agenda or a new one for the next Annual Agenda.

Click here to read a short article explaining the topic and offering one possible process for implementing it: Board Self Assessment Plan.