The board is the ultimate decision-making body in every company—it holds the mandate to optimise company performance in accordance with the wishes of shareholders, and it is the shareholders to whom the board must provide an account for their actions (or inaction). This is a weighty responsibility, especially when you consider the plethora of internal and external factors that can affect company performance.
Yet some directors seem to be more interested in collecting appointments than in adding value. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Consequently, directors need to be attentive (by guarding against distractions, tiredness and having too many irons in the fire especially) if they hope to fulfil the responsibility delegated to them by shareholders.
This call might not be popular in some quarters. However, emerging research appears to suggest that attentiveness (by way of active engagement in board practices, and strategic management tasks in particular) is crucial if directors are to have any hope of making a difference to the future prospects of the company they are charged with governing.
If teamwork and effectiveness in the boardroom is important to you, it is likely to be important to your colleagues as well. Does your board have an established protocol on such matters? If not, a good starting point might be to schedule a discussion at an upcoming board meeting.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.