Board Effectiveness: Building a High-Performing Board

The challenge

A technology company worked with RefineValue to optimize board effectiveness and improve collaboration with the board of directors. RefineValue had helped a industrial company with succession planning for the Chairman. The company was undergoing a critical transformation, and while the board worked well together, the situation required more than a process-oriented board.

The core problem was that the board was not focused enough on the company’s strategic and operational challenges, and there was little collaboration with the management team. In addition, investors were putting increasing pressure on the company to take more drastic actions than planned. Recognizing that the board needed to find a new role and increase its effectiveness in the company’s current situation, the chairman asked us to help him redefine the board’s strategic direction, improve its culture and structure, and strengthen its relationship with the executive management team.

Our impact

We worked with the Chairman to develop and implement a four-year program to improve the Board’s effectiveness. A robust and comprehensive evaluation of the board was the first step. Through a combination of online surveys, methodologically valid assessments, and personal interviews with all members of the Board and the Executive Committee, we gained an unprecedented insight into the Board. We are using these insights to optimize the Board’s strategy, culture, composition, structures and processes.

The evaluation revealed a respectful and collaborative culture on which to build. There was room for improvement in the way the Board works, such as better aligning strategic decisions with the company’s stage of development, improving leadership and communication in the committees, and improving the culture of debate so that substantive decisions can be discussed more controversially. We conducted an interactive training program designed to bring the two boards together to discuss the current and future challenges facing their respective companies.

To broaden the diversity of perspectives and experience, we supported the Board in a comprehensive succession program. We helped establish more structured succession planning for the Board and the CEO, introduced an annual 360-degree evaluation of the Board, and developed personal development plans for Board members.

The results

As a result of the comprehensive program, the board is well positioned for the future and has actively contributed to the successful transformation of the technology company. With a better understanding of individual roles, improved team dynamics and a new shared understanding of the Board’s strategic direction, the members achieved top scores in the annual evaluation. The succession solutions have been well received by investors, the board and the public, and board members praise the board’s effectiveness.

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