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How to Conduct a Board Self-Assessment

Board Self-Assessment is a method for analyzing and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of governance. The board can utilize it to step back and evaluate its own effectiveness. This will result in better governance.

The development of a successful board assessment process requires planning time, as well as involvement of board members. The first step in determining the scope is to determine who will be the target audience for the assessment. This could include the entire board, a specific committee or even a director. A good plan will also identify the method used to evaluate. Interviews, surveys or facilitated discussion are common methodologies. Once the scope and evaluation method are established, it’s time to design and disseminating questionnaires.

Some boards decide to conduct the evaluation on their own while others hire an outside consultant. A third party consultant will to ensure a thorough and impartial analysis, which is crucial in the event that you do not have the time or resources to conduct the assessment yourself.

It is important that board members evaluate themselves. However it is also crucial that nonprofit boards focus on the entire group. It is easy for nonprofit boards and their evaluation facilitators to get caught up in evaluating the responses of individual members and not pay attention to the board as a whole.

A successful self-assessment is able to help boards clarify expectations, reveal weaknesses in the composition of their boards and align knowledge of the board with organizational strategy, address concerns of investors regarding turnover and diversity and enhance the efficiency of their board practices and procedures. In their proxy statements, public companies disclose the outcomes of their board’s evaluations.




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