Board self-evaluation is all about measuring how the board feels about its workings. Self-assessment is part of this process of continuous improvement and accountability. Feedback from board members drives positive change that can net tangible improvements in how the board and organization work.

Successful organizations measure. Measurement is the basis for comparisons whether this is identifying progress or benchmarking the organization against peer or best-practices. A board self-evaluation is a key element of adopting a good governance model.

Self-evaluation critical for boards

A board of directors is a special type of decision-making authority. It is a group of people who must reach collective decisions. No single person, even the chair, has ultimate power. The chair does not decide but leads the meetings. And once a decision is made, the board is expected to support collective decisions.

The lack of a power hierarchy on a board has implications for how the board does its work. There is a need for diverse viewpoints to be heard, for there to be adequate consideration given to options, and a collective decision to emerge.

But how do we know if the board is meeting this high standard? What areas could the board be doing better at? The only way to answer this question is through a board self-evaluation. The Chair might have views, as may management. In this case, it is board members who really matter. Members who feel part of a well-working board are likely to be better board members.

In fact, a board self-evaluation is an extension of the fundamental decision-making process on boards. Everyone needs to have a voice and be heard. The board survey gives them this voice and empowers them to help the board improve.

The board self-evaluation tool captures how board members feel about how the board does its work. This includes, among other things:

  • Director skills and preparation
  • Meeting evaluation
  • Chair feedback

So if your board can improve its meetings, you have a place to start. Next year, you can see how you are doing.

Get in touch, if you are interested in learning more about how the board evaluation tool can help your organization build a better and more effective board.