Why a good board needs a solid connection with the CEO

September 23, 2021


Governance Mastery


Building and maintaining a strong connection with the CEO is vital for a well-functioning board.

“When you think about it,” governance expert John Page begins, “a board is physically present in the organisation probably less than 1% of the time. But it has accountability to the organisation the whole time – particularly legal accountability.”

The importance for the board to establish an effective form of remote control to ensure direction is maintained between the few board meetings that take place every year is vital.

Graeme Nahkies, BoardWorks co-founder, explained the importance for the board to give direction as well as create a framework to exercise remote control. With this framework, management should be able to:

  • Understand what needs to be achieved even when the board isn’t around
  • Understand what isn’t allowed and falls outside the framework.

In a recent BoardPro webinar which you can watch here, Nahkies and Page also touch on the issues that arise when there isn’t a clear intent from both parties, which can often lead to board “meddling” in management affairs or boards being invited to board meetings just to spectate management activities.

While there is a myriad of ways that policy frameworks can be set, the three intentions discussed in this webinar are as follows:

  • To make a decision in advance
  • To set the value or perspective that underpins action
  • A principled and systematic way of dealing with something instead of being reactive and ad hoc

Watch the full webinar here to gain insights on how boards and CEOs can establish a stronger relationship with one another.

Webinar Transcript

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