"The process of becoming a leader is much the same as the process of becoming an integrated human being."

Warren Bennis

Board Effectiveness

"To run a corporate board successfully is extremely demanding. Constraints on time and knowledge combine with the need to maintain mutual respect and openness between a cast of strong, able and busy directors dealing with each other across the different demands of executive and non-executive roles." The UK Corporate Governance Code, Financial Reporting Council

Anchor Partners has developed a board effectiveness framework that is practical and adaptable for organisations in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  It draws on a unique and in-depth inquiry into best practice in board leadership and corporate governance based on interviews with current and former FTSE 100 chairmen.

As a first step, we shape an initial outline of a Board Effectiveness Programme, in liaison with the Chair, based on an understanding of the Board’s particular challenges.

We then undertake an informal inquiry to identify the key issues that need to be addressed to ensure the highest levels of board effectiveness, in line with the spirit of the Combined Code on Corporate Governance. This will include conversations with individual board members and outputs from any recent board evaluation work. It will also take into account the wider environment within which the organisation and Board operates and may include the perspectives of other key constituencies both within the organisation and externally.

Having agreed the focus of the work, we co-create and implement a programme which is likely to include board development sessions and attending a formal board meeting. This offers an opportunity to observe the board in action and enables us to offer insights that highlight both what the board is doing well and what it might do differently to enhance its overall effectiveness and performance.

Throughout the programme, our focus is on:

  • Improving the collective performance of the board through constructive challenge and reflection;
  • Improving the collective leadership of the board to more effectively represent and engage with its key constituencies both within the organisation and externally.

Because the role of the chairman is pivotal in setting the tone of the board, we also offer a tailored Chairman’s Programme in which we work with and through the chairman to help him or her improve overall effectiveness by  focusing  on board behaviours and the quality of the Boardroom conversation.  As John Egan, former President of the CBI, has said:  “How good boards become great boards depends critically on the quality of their conversation”. He also suggests that great boards are never satisfied. “They are always seeking to improve, all too aware that any complacency will soon be punished.”