This is how you facilitate good board work

Good board work is the mainstay of the success of any organisation. It is not just about having a board, but about having a board that works efficiently, makes wise decisions and guides the company through both challenges and opportunities. In this article, we take a closer look at how to facilitate good board work in the company.

4.June 2024
Written by Mari Nygaard

Four key points that facilitate good board work:

1. Put together a good board

  • Diversity: Ensure that the board has a varied composition with members who bring different perspectives, experiences and skills to the table. This can include professional competence, industry experience, international experience, gender balance and ethnic diversity. 
  • Professionalisation and capacity: Increased complexity in board work requires professional board members with sufficient capacity to carry out their duties effectively. It is important to assess whether the members have the necessary time and expertise to contribute to the company's development
  • Competence needs and changes in the market: With changes in the business world, such as an increased focus on green transition and digitalisation, the requirements for competence in the board also increase. This includes the need for lawyers, communications experts, HR managers and digital experts to handle new challenges and opportunities.
  • Understanding of the company's position and the market: Board members should have insight into the company's position in the market and an understanding of different perspectives such as the industry, customers, authorities and society. This ensures that the decisions are informed and take into account all relevant factors.
  • Personal qualities and trust: The board members must have qualities that promote a good collaborative environment in the board. Value-based management and culture building are becoming increasingly important for the company's development over time, and therefore personal qualities such as integrity and communication skills should also be emphasized in the composition of the board.

2. Facilitate good cooperation in the boardroom:

A good collaborative environment in the boardroom is essential for efficiency and productive discussions. This is best achieved when board members trust each other and feel comfortable sharing views and challenging each other. By implementing these points, the board can facilitate a collaborative environment characterized by trust, respect and productivity.

  • Promote open communication: Encourage open and honest communication among board members. Everyone should feel safe to express their opinions and concerns without fear of reprisal.
  • Building trust and respect: Facilitate activities and discussions that help build trust and respect between board members. This can include team building exercises, shared meals or social events.
  • Focus on common goals: Ensure that everyone on the board has a common understanding of the company's goals and strategy. This helps to create a common direction and can help to avoid disagreements or conflicts.
  • Encourage diverse perspectives: Value and encourage diverse perspectives and experiences among board members. This can lead to more creative solutions and better decisions.
  • Clear leadership: The chairman should be a clear leader who actively works to promote cooperation and build a positive culture in the boardroom. This includes encouraging participation, managing conflicts constructively and giving recognition to board members for their contributions.

3. Preparations before the board meeting

  • Thorough preparations: An important part of good board work is to have thorough preparations for each meeting. This includes preparing a clear and transparent agenda as well as a comprehensive meeting book containing all relevant information and documentation.
  • Short board proceedings: Board proceedings should be concise and focused, preferably limited to a maximum of 5 pages, to ensure effective review and discussion.
  • Sufficient time for preparation: The meeting book should be distributed to the board members well in advance of the meeting, so that they have sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the matters and prepare thoroughly.
  • Use a board portal: Using a board portal or similar tools can be of great help in organizing and making relevant information available to board members. Contact Admincontrol to hear more about how a board portal can help you along the way.

4. Recipe for conducting a good board meeting

  • Priorities and objectives: Start each meeting with a custom-defined time where the board members can agree on priorities and objectives for the day's meeting. This may also include dialogue with the CEO about important topics or challenges.
  • More time for discussion: When the board members have prepared thoroughly, the presentations from the administration should be concise and targeted. This frees up more time to discuss and explore the issues in depth.
  • Do not involve too many people: The administration's representatives should only participate in the board meeting when necessary, primarily on matters that concern them directly. Too many external participants can lead to unnecessary complexity and reduced efficiency.
  • End with a debrief: End each meeting with a short summary and debrief where the board members can reflect on the discussions and assessments that were made. This provides an opportunity for learning and continuous improvement of board work.

Good board work absolutely essential for success

To sum up, good board work is absolutely essential for the success of any organisation. Elements such as the composition of the board, effective collaboration, thorough preparation and a good recipe for conducting the board meeting are among the key factors that can guide you on the road to success. 

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