Board Review: Transforming Board Evaluation

The challenge

The board of a leading global automotive company was faced with the consequences of a failed evaluation. The results of the evaluation, and especially the communication of the results and actions, were widely rejected and led to ongoing destructive discussions that increasingly paralyzed the board. The measures derived from the evaluation had little chance of being implemented, the relationship between the board members was damaged, and the culture of discussion within the board had deteriorated significantly. The CEO asked us to help him rebuild trust among the members and create a new board dynamic.

Our impact

The first step was to conduct a thorough review of the evaluation that had been conducted, examining and reassessing its design, content, results, and the actions derived from them. The analysis revealed the following key shortcomings

  • Lack of in-depth individual interviews with board members
  • Discrepancy between the recommended actions and the company’s strategic direction and current stage of development
  • Lack of concretization of the actions, so that the actions could not be implemented by the board.

We then conducted an in-depth interview with each member of the Board to gain insight into their perspectives and discuss future-oriented issues. A workshop on team dynamics enabled the Board to immediately implement the recommendations developed and laid the foundation for a positive and proactive approach to future evaluations.

On this basis, a new evaluation program was developed that includes an annual self-evaluation and a comprehensive, objective external evaluation every three years. In addition, we worked with the Chairman of the Board and the Chairman of the Nomination Committee to develop a new strategy for communicating the results of the evaluation and a concept for effectively integrating the results of the evaluation into the succession planning and strategic direction of the Board.

The results

The members of the Board agreed on a new evaluation process and committed to a common approach to ensure the constructive integration of the evaluation results into their work. The dynamics and culture of the Board have improved significantly, the actions resulting from the evaluation process are being implemented more rigorously, and a new common understanding of succession planning has been successfully established within the Board.

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