CEOs are not always innocent when it comes to boards engaging in micromanagement. In fact, CEOs are sometimes culpable in creating and sustaining such behavior and are most often in a position to refocus boards on true board level work and what really matters. If you are tired of your board’s micro management and you want create change, you must be willing to make undertaking such change a priority and be intentional about doing so.
Before you begin to redesign your governance system, invest adequate time in analyzing your current system. After all, this is what Einstein would do!
If your current governance system isn’t performing up to par, it’s important to understand why not. Depending on what the “real” problems are, the solutions may lie in making actual structural changes (reformulating the committee structure or size of board, for example) or they may lie in changing the practices the board engages in (agenda design or meeting design, for example). Investing the time to adequately define and redefine the problem will:
Is your organization in need of a governance system redesign? One of the biggest frustrations non-profit CEOs face is underperforming or ill performing boards. The cause(s) can be embedded in the current structure of the governing system, governance practices or policies, or both. Likewise, the solution can be found in changing the structure, updating practices and / or policies, or both.
CEOs must take the lead when it comes to creating high performing boards. This includes taking a leadership role in board nominations and board development.
The process of creating a high performing board doesn’t begin with nominating amazing board candidates that intuitively think strategically and have highly developed governing skills. In fact, if your board isn’t ready for great board members it may be a mistake to try to recruit them until you further develop good governance practices.