For many of us, the end of one year and beginning of a new one is a time of reflection. A time to look back on what we’ve achieved, and where we missed the mark, to understand what we did right and where we can improve moving forwards.
It’s also a great time of year for the board of directors to conduct a self-assessment as part of their business level strategy. As a board member myself I can attest to the fact that board members do not know what they don’t know about their own board. And that lack of knowledge can be incredibly detrimental to achieving the mission and vision of the organization.
There are many strategic benefits to conducting a board assessment including:
- Providing clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the board members and board as a whole.
- Assessing progress towards strategic plans, goals and outcomes.
- Avoiding unnecessary board conflict.
- Identifying skill and knowledge gaps.
- Fostering alignment and agreement on the boards vision and mission.
- Increasing accountability of the board and its members to each other and key stakeholders.
While it’s clear that assessments are vital for helping boards maximize their effectiveness, so many I speak to on a daily basis simply don’t do them. They either don’t think they need to or, and this is especially true with nonprofit and other volunteer based governing boards, they think it’s going to take time away from doing their jobs or eat into even more of their personal time.
A board assessment can be as simple as having each member take a few minutes to answer a short questionnaire followed by a discussion about the results at the next board meeting. And there are tools that can help simplify and streamline the processes by replicating previous board assessments and automating reports so that the board can more easily track and validate its progress year after year without having to go back to the drawing board time after time.
In short, taking the time to conduct a board assessment can be transformational. And it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. If you’re interested in finding out how board management software like the NXTBoard platform can help with the process, contact us at this link.