The work of the board is difficult, demanding and crucial to the overall success of an company. However, too often, boards struggle to translate insight into action. If executed properly, a robust evaluation process can provide invaluable strategic counsel to executive leadership teams, and provide significant value for shareholders.

Ineffective or poorly organized boards can hamper the work of executive teams, causing them to divert attention from value creation. A lack of constructive feedback could lead to poor governance, which could put the directors of the company at risk.

One of the biggest problems facing boards is how to allocate mission-critical items across committees. The structure of a committee for the board must be flexible and dynamic enough to be able to adjust to the ever-changing needs of the business while maintaining the proper levels of competence. The structure of the committee must be designed to ensure that crucial discussions with the management and other stakeholders do not get suffocated or consumed by excessive detail.

To accomplish these goals, a board should review its structure, composition and processes regularly, with the help of outside facilitators. This might include reviewing the current mix of board members (and their competencies) as well as the frequency and length of board meetings, and whether or not directors are prepared for meetings and the amount of time is spent deliberating, rather than reviewing or listening to presentations. The board should also consider whether they’re achieving the proper balance between types and numbers of professionals within their ranks, as well as the need to create an atmosphere of constructive discord within the boardroom.