Company boards are increasingly coming under public scrutiny as their decision-making and leadership processes are examined and often called into question in an era which is demanding higher levels of transparency.
And when board members don’t make the time to deal with the responsibilities of the job, they avoid challenging their counterparts on core issues affecting the business. This need to find out what is really going on in the organisation is critical.
As if that’s not enough, board members are increasing under the spotlight for how they interpret and deliver governance while maintaining grounded ethical and moral positions in the marketplace.
The key mentoring influences that should be on offer from a boardroom – support, stewardship and leadership – are becoming wildly negligent in this respect, particularly in the UK and the United States.
So what can be done to address these seemingly insurmountable challenges, and how should boards go forward to achieve their organisational purpose?
The role of a board is unique to each organisation, and complex, but help is at hand!
It is, without question, one of the most extensive and revealing studies of its kind anywhere in the world.
Professor Kakabadse’s research has highlighted that Board members are often surprised by the reality of their role.
“They are ill-prepared and ill-equipped to deal with the challenges they face”, he says, “and their lack of knowledge and experience puts the whole organisation at risk.”
And according to the research, only 20% of global corporations operate with a truly ethical approach, even though they are statistically more likely to perform better in the medium- to long term. And the vast majority of boards are not respected by their managers – they are seen as being impotent and not appreciating the reality their organisation faces – invariably with good reason!
So as a board member, how can you harness the potential of the organisation? How can you restore your collective reputation, and inspire respect and admiration from those you wish to influence?
Professor Kakabadse believes that mentoring lies at the heart of an effective board, and his programme is geared to showing board directors how to engage fully with all their stakeholders, adding real, sustainable value to the business.
The programme, in-person or live-online, has a high level of personal focus, helping delegates to understand what it really means to be an exceptional board director.
This article was originally written for Cityjet magazine
Built on robust research
Renowned business strategy expert, Professor Andrew Kakabadse has recently launched a programme at the Henley Business School that provides new and aspiring board directors with a toolbox of vital skills and capabilities, based on his extensive research amongst thousands of boards in over a dozen countries.
Find out more about the Board Directors' Programme here