Research has shown that if you want to get the most from your board, board engagement should be a primary goal of your board management program. So what keeps board members from being as engaged as we would like them to be? In most cases, directors are extremely busy individuals. While it’s true that nobody should take on a roll that they can’t fulfill, it’s also important that board members have the tools and opportunities necessary to do the job required of them. Below are three important reasons to help your board of directors become more engaged.
Board Engagement Means Better Organization Advocates
Engaged board members are more knowledgeable and passionate about the companies they serve. And it is only natural that a board member who is passionate will be a better advocate for their organization. That can translate into increased opportunities, better public relations, expanded board recruitment opportunities, and any number of other benefits.
Because each board member plays a vital role in the success or failure of the organization, holding everyone accountable is essential to their success and the organization’s. Tools like assessments and scorecards can encourage, and in some cases, inspire your board members to hold themselves and each other accountable.
For many board of directors, the old 80/20 rule can apply. One or two leaders will dominate meetings and have undue influence on discussions and agendas. Consciously keeping your entire board engaged, and increasing diversity, can foster better communication and the sharing of multiple perspectives.
In the increasingly complex environment that most businesses operate, an engaged board of directors is a competitive asset that can positively affect the bottom line while while sustaining company values and corporate governance. And, a proactive program to foster board engagement is a first step toward a higher functioning board.