The Role of Committees within Organisations

November 4, 2021

November 3, 2021

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Best Practice

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Sean McDonald

We all know how busy boards can get when it comes to navigating requests and pressures from regulatory bodies and shareholders. To be effective and efficient, boards should have an organised structure to delegate tasks. Having a board committee can help with that, as these committees can provide a platform for boards to deal with specific issues that require specialised areas of expertise.

Utilise your talent

The concept behind board committees is to make use of specific talents, skills and knowledge of individual board members to educate the rest of the board on major concerns and ideas. Furthermore, committees allow boards to divide the work into manageable sections.

Boards can establish committees for almost anything they need to address. 

Spread the load

Certain issues are sometimes so complex that they will take more than just one or two meetings to tackle, so having these committees can maximise a board’s efficiency. This allows board members to spend the proper amount of time required to research and dissect aspects of the issue, and also allows for broader participation of all board members.

Board committees also provide accountability for all members. When assigned specific tasks, board directors are directly accountable for their responsibilities. 

Because all committees are assigned different tasks, board members will expect each other to complete their responsibilities in a timely manner so the following meetings can play out more efficiently.

Be clear on your direction

Another benefit of committees is a committee charter, which outlines the specific responsibilities and expectations of the committee. It typically also defines the limits of authority and identifies timeframes. When developing a committee charter, it is important to also detail the particular recommendations wanted and needed from the board.

Understanding these board committee benefits is one thing, but more importantly, organisations need to ensure that they can properly determine who makes a good fit to serve in a board committee. 

Knowledge 

Board chairs don’t necessarily need to be an expert in the particular issues that the committee is responsible for, but they do need to have a good understanding of the decision-making process. They should be productive facilitators who encourage fruitful discussions. Committee members may be board directors or outside experts. Committee members usually are the experts on the issues assigned to their committees. 

It is essential that committee members embrace a spirit of collaboration and diversity. Effective committee members encourage each other to explore various topics and ask probing questions to make comprehensive judgements and evaluations.

Utilise Technology

Technology, such as board software, has helped boards increase their efficiency. BoardPro is a best in class software solution that attenuates concerns of hacks and data breaches because of its high degree of security. 

With BoardPro, committee members can rest assured that their communications, documents, reports and other information are secure since BoardPro’s user permissions ensure only committee members can access relevant information. BoardPro also streamlines the process of preparing agendas, official documents and more. Of course, it is mobile friendly as well, making it super convenient for committee members to access BoardPro anywhere anytime.

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