Navigating today's business challenges: The crucial role of board evaluation

Board work Board Portal / Board evaluation

Each quarter, we will focus on a board profile using board evaluation, highlighting the benefits of best evaluation practices. We will look at the value of board evaluation and delve into best practices that drive effective decision-making, transparency, and strategic alignment within today's dynamic business landscape.

14.June 2024
Written by Admincontrol

Profile: Gyrid Ingerø

Gyrid Ingerø is a seasoned board member and investor, currently serving as deputy chair at Telenor ASA and holding board positions at Höegh Autoliners ASA, Gjensidige ASA, Kongsberg Digital ASA, Kitron ASA, KID ASA, Itera ASA and Flytoget. Until recently, she was EVP & Group CFO at Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, a leading global technology company with operations in 40 countries. With over 30 years of experience in finance, auditing, turnarounds, and financial advice at CXO level, she has held various board roles in listed companies and group companies.

Please tell us about your experience and background in board governance.

I began my board journey in a private equity firm as CFO where I held board positions within our portfolio companies, handling governance training and bridging the gap between owners and the companies we invested in. I also managed board and general meeting minutes. When Norway mandated 40% women on ASA boards in 2004, I was one of the few women in leadership positions in a listed company.

Since then, I've held various board roles in listed companies. Over the past 12 years, I've also served as both chair and board member related to my positions as CFO at Telenor Norway and CFO at Kongsberg Gruppen, managing internal boards and strategic directions in sub-group companies. The diversity of these roles has given me broad experience in handling and resolving local challenges that require special attention and build a strong dialogue with unions.

What is your experience with optimising board effectiveness in your board work?

First, I would like to highlight the importance of board composition. Making sure that the board has a good balance between different roles, expertise and skills to provide different perspectives is key. In order to ensure value creation and safeguard and increase shareholder value, all members need to have a deep core understanding of the organisation’s business model and strategic direction as well as having strong industry insights.

A well-prepared, solution-oriented board can conduct efficient meetings and make sound decisions. In today's rapidly changing world, the need for timely and secure communication with the board chair and members has become crucial.

"Continuous board evaluations are not just about annual reviews, it is about having a proactive approach to improvement and collaboration.”

Another key success factor for collaboration and effectiveness is quick access to relevant information, a shared repository for historical data, secure document storage, and facilitated communication between different roles and key stakeholders. Admincontrol’s board portal has provided a platform for board work that is tailored for all elements of board work allowing for efficient task handling and communication.


In your opinion, what are some of the challenges boards face today related to board effectiveness? Have you experienced challenges in your board work?

Finding the optimal board composition for cohesive teamwork and effective decision-making is challenging but necessary. Boards must include members with substantial experience in legally mandated tasks to maintain business control. Finding the right balance between individual subject matter experts while still ensuring a cohesive team effort is key.

Today's boards face an unstable macroeconomic environment with high levels of uncertainty. While boards are trying to navigate these challenges while also faced with more complex decisions. The technological development is moving at rapid speed and creates a need in areas like cybersecurity and AI. Risk management is crucial and the need for competence needs to be represented in boardroom discussions and in the way boards work, communicate, store and share information. I think AI is another area where boards need to keep up. ESG and sustainability is increasingly more dynamic and critical part of corporate governance, hence requiring time and competence within the boardroom.


Could you tell us more about your experience using Admincontrol?      

I have used Admincontrol since early on in my board journey and I am currently using Admincontrol in 8 out of 10 boards. Effective board governance in today’s fast-paced business environment relies on quick access to information, secure communication, and efficient collaboration. In my opinion, having a secure and purpose-built board portal significantly enhances cooperation and effectiveness in board work. Additionally, a native app accessible via mobile devices is crucial for seamless accessibility such as offline access. This is where I think Admincontrol excels- by providing a unified platform for all relevant board activities across different boards and roles.

Having an evaluation tool as part of the board portal adds to the overall board work as a board member. What I particularly appreciate about Admincontrol's board evaluation is the extensive survey battery that cover all areas of the board. The solution is professional and structured, covering all major areas that need to be included in an evaluation process. The fact that you also have to provide written answers complete the evaluation and provides more insights into the survey as a whole. I especially like the open questions related to areas of improvement. The evaluation is user-friendly for both the administration and board members. Again, having the evaluation module as part of the board portal adds to the value of the portal overall.

Learn more about Admincontrol's board evaluation here.


Finally, what’s your best advice for other board professionals looking to improve board effectiveness within their organizations?

Frequent evaluations are key, ideally after each meeting. It is the chair's responsibility to address any discrepancies, different perspectives and ensuring that the board has insight into critical issues that significantly impact the company. Conducting evaluations is not mandatory but I consider it critical for boards to drive stakeholder value.

“Board evaluation is not about patting each other on the back. It is about continuous improvement and honest assessment to drive real value.”

Fostering a culture of trust and effective collaboration between board members and the administration is necessary. Addressing discrepancies and ensuring insight into critical issues is essential for maintaining trust and effective decision-making.

Frequent changes in board members can create uncertainty, so ensuring consistency and efficient onboarding is vital. Building strong relationships between board members promotes thorough meeting preparation and efficient board meetings.  that the board has the required competency, consistency and ensuring an efficient onboarding process of new board members get up to speed quickly is crucial for success.

Finally, continuous, honest evaluations improve decision-making processes and team effectiveness. Ideally, evaluations should be conducted after each meeting to summarize agenda points or issues. An annual assessment is also required to identify improvement areas overall. An evaluation is not about getting a scale-based score that states that everything is going well but ensure that the decision-making process is optimal overall. The nomination committee can use evaluations as a valuable framework to evaluate whether the board has adequate collective competence. Evaluations can also give a clear image of how efficiently the board works as a team to enhance shareholder value.