Several months ago, the editors of Ethical Boardroom contacted me to write another article for their magazine. Previously, I'd written articles on governance issues in New Zealand and Australia and accountability; and, provided a commentary piece on internships. Given a free reign (within the bounds of editorial deadlines), I agreed to share some observations about the boards of social enterprises and, in particular, explore board effectiveness—all based on recent experiences in boardrooms and with members of social enterprise boards. The article is now available here.
The commentary, which has generated considerable interest and feedback—including amongst directors and boards of profit-seeking companies—suggests that the 'secret' of effective board contributions lies in board members looking ahead and working together towards an agreed goal. My doctoral research bears this out: the board's ability to exert influence from and beyond the boardroom (including over firm performance) seems to be contingent on the board maintaining a close involvement in strategic management, and a few (I found five) characteristics of directors and social interactions being expressed as the board does so.
If the large number of people that have already seen the article and asked questions is any indication, the topics of board effectiveness and sustainable business performance are of great interest. The feedback has been gratifying. Thank you. If you want to learn more about board effectiveness; the underlying 'performance' characteristics of boards; or, how to embrace a high performance board environment, please get in touch.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.