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Board Effectiveness

Board effectiveness is key to the success of any organisation. This is particularly true in the not-for-profit sector where Boards may meet only three to four times a year.

In cases where there is little opportunity for Board Members to fully explore or understand their role on the Board or the expectations of the Chair in terms of their individual contributions, the result can be Board disunity and reduced motivation and effectiveness. Such Boards can greatly benefit from facilitated sessions which explore strategic issues and how best to utilise the skills and expertise of their members. Additional work with individual Board members and Trustees – especially those that have been newly appointed – can give them the confidence to contribute fully from the earliest opportunity.

Working with a skilled Board facilitator creates clarity in terms of roles and expectation and enables the whole board becomes more cohesive and effective. Coaching and mentoring with individual executives and non executives supports this process and ensures that Board members contribute earlier and more effectively to the work of the Board as a whole.

Situations where Board facilitation and support might be particularly useful include:

  • an unsatisfactory review from a regulatory body
  • the resignation of a key individual
  • the threat of legal action
  • negative media exposure

In such circumstances an effective and fully-coordinated Board is required to oversee or implement the changes required to move the organisation forward.

Sara Hodson is an experienced Board member in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She has herself been part of Board development processes from which she has learned those interventions most likely to ensure success. She has run facilitated one-off Board development days as well as working with senior management teams on an ongoing basis. She has coached and mentored new and existing Board members and worked with chief executives to utilise Boards more effectively. Sara has been a non executive director of an NHS Trust as well as being a Trustee and Director of an international educational services organisation; she is currently a Governor of a higher education institution. Sara has worked with Boards and individuals in a wide range of environments – the Cabinet Office, the Inland Revenue, Citigroup, the Diocese of London, the Market Research Society and the Securities Institute.

To discuss how JMR Consultants can help and support the development of your Board, please contact Sara Hodson at: sarahodson@jmrc.co.uk