Board Effectiveness

Compliance is necessary, but not sufficient – steering the Organisation into an uncertain future is the secret sauce.

Plan for the future while taking care of the past.

Research* shows that more than 90 percent of Company (and Board) failure is a result of:

Strategic blunders (e.g. new product or new market failures) or a company caught by a major industry shift, including failed Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as dramatic shifts in major enterprise value drivers.

Operational problems, such as supply chain disruptions.

*Booz & Company 2012

Therefore the main role of the Board is to future-proof the Organisation with a short- and long-term focus on current and future people, strategic imperatives and resources, while taking care of compliance issues.

Compliance is necessary but not sufficient to guarantee success.

Our Philosophy

Traditionally Board Evaluations are generic and tend to:

  • Apply general frameworks irrespective of the industry or company.
  • Assess compliance rather than measure effectiveness.
  • Focus on Board composition rather than business impact and strategy.
  • Provide a superficial survey: a ‘box ticking’ exercise.
  • Ignore the dynamic between Management and the Board.

Moving beyond compliance is a central theme of our Board focus:

  • Start with creating Chair / Board buy-in: Why are we doing this? Why should we look in the mirror?
  • Organisation-specific: tailored to our client’s business.
  • Begin with business strategy, performance and leadership requirements.
  • Ask the ‘difficult’ questions about leadership and alignment.
  • Focus on most important / likely risks and issues that impact the business or create Board discomfort.
  • Focus on uncovering the real leadership risks and issues that impact the business.
  • Pragmatic balance between face-to-face interviews, surveys and market analysis.
  • Outcome driven – supporting the Board to make use of and implement the recommendations.


Assisting the Board to complete an objective independent evaluation of the Board:

Phase 1

  • One hour kick-off interviews with the Chair, CEO and Company Secretary.
  • Design questionnaires and interview sheets.

Discover, Identify and Deduce

  • Identify types of critical decisions and challenges that the Board will face to ensure effective implementation of strategy.
  • Deduce skills and competencies required by the Board to make such decisions and face such challenges.
  • Identify key areas of Board culture and behaviours to be reviewed.
  • Understand real impact of the Board on business decisions and operations.
  • Identify Executives with adequate Board exposure to be involved in the process.
  • Determine documentation needed to determine effectiveness of processes, decision-making and the Corporate Governance framework.

Phase 2

  • Board Members and selected Executives complete questionnaires on-line.
  • Board Members and selected Executives interviewed for 60 minutes.

Understand Overall Board Effectiveness

  • Assess effectiveness of processes, culture and behaviours through a detailed online questionnaire, for example:

    1. Role & accountability of Board
    2. Development
    3. Operating processes
    4. Culture of Board
    5. Board contribution to strategy
    6. Interaction / relationship with Management
  • 60 Minute interviews with each Board Member and selected Executives.
  • Best practice analysis and recommendations.
  • Analyse documentation regarding effectiveness of processes, decision-making, etc. – reporting on the Corporate Governance framework.

Phase 3

  • Feedback at Board meeting.
  • Facilitate session on impacts and next steps (additional scope).

Enhance Board Performance through increased individual and team engagement

  • Provide recommendation as necessary on Board operations, changes to governance and processes.
  • Provide individual feedback, if necessary.
  • Discuss findings and recommendations to increase team alignment and improve board dynamics.

What makes us unique

Global Engagement

Over 120 Board Effectiveness assignments in countries such as South Africa, UK, Singapore, Greece, Norway, Finland and Belgium.

Extensive Experience

In Board consulting assignments, such as Board renewal planning and succession, Director development, CEO succession and conflict resolution.

Forward Focus

Outcomes are forward looking and action-based, rather than dwelling on the past.

Beyond Compliance

While compliance is checked the focus is on leadership aspects, such as strategy direction, culture, dynamics, relationships, roles
and values.

Unique Software Platform

With full capability to complete annual Board self-assessments without external intervention.

Secure Data

Perpetual availability of secure data online over the years to allow trend identification and data mining.


Proprietary Software

A unique and flexible questionnaire platform

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Software Showcase

  • Offered as part of all proposals.
  • Unique software platform with full capability to complete annual Board self-assessments without external intervention.
  • Unlimited questionnaires can be generated within the platform to include Board evaluation and any other evaluation such as Chair evaluation and individual evaluation.
  • The platform allows customisation to include all aspects of the operation of the Board and individual directors. The scope includes as many questionnaires as required by the Board.
  • Template questionnaires, themes and questions are available to choose from or questionnaires can be generated from scratch.
  • Security of information guaranteed.
  • Capabilities include full cycle of evaluation, from questionnaire generation, testing, distribution via email, completion by participants, progress checking against deadline and reporting.
  • Perpetual availability of data over the years to allow trend identification and data mining.