The mere fact that a Board is formed using a competency-based model doesn’t mean it is a highly effective governing body any more than a representational Board is ineffective for the mere reason it is representational based. Although Board member selection methodology has a significant impact on Board performance, there are many other elements that contribute to high performance governance, such as: Board training, agenda design, Board briefing materials and governance structure.
In fact, one doesn’t have to choose between competency based and representational governance. One can have both by inserting competency based practices into a “representational” system. Regardless, a competency based Board might make the most sense for your organization for a variety of reasons. If you are considering moving to a competency based model, remember, you only get one chance; if it fails, it will be a long time before your organization considers competency-based models again. As such, a well thought out process/strategy is critical.