The Board of Directors is the top-most party in the leadership and management pyramid of every organisation. As such, all matters, both critical and light, lie in their hands. This is to imply that they are the most important element when there are problems to be solved and decisions to be made.
In as much as the roles of the Boards differ from one organisation to the other, there are some similarities that occasionally show up. For instance, there are problems that will be found in almost every organisation which the Board of Directors must solve.
The following are some of the top issues that the Board of Directors face today.
Since the Board is the problem-solving and decision-making body in the organisation, it takes the credit for performance. Therefore, if the performance is outstanding, the Board is appreciated. Similarly, if the performance is dismal, the same Board takes responsibility. In short, performance is itself a problem that the Board faces.
For example, issues such as bad chemistry, domination by the minority, communication breakdown and rivalries within the membership affect its performance. A dismembered Board will never lead an organisation to success.
Therefore, most of them will be struggling to ensure they speak a common language and unanimously work together to ensure they are effective.
Right balancing of power
The balancing of power between different board role-players is an issue that cannot be ignored. The board must be constituted such that appointments are made based on considerations such as probity, skills and experience. The problem is that some boards elect members based on factors such as favouritism.
When such criteria are used to constitute Boards, people without the relevant skills and/or expertise take up roles. The results include ineffective boards, lack of performance by massive enterprises, distraction from organisational goals and wrangles within the board.
To solve it, Board appointments should be made after every potential director presents their experience, tools, qualifications and skills. In this way, the right people will end up being matched with the appropriate powers.
Problems of reforms
In an ever-changing business environment, it is expected that organizational dynamics such as the top management must reform to align with the changes. Professional management is still a new concept that modern day Board Directors are struggling to adapt. This has led to issues such as role uncertainty as well as unclear management territories.
One too many times, such uncertainties have led to standoff, ineffectiveness of boards and wrong assignment of management roles.
Evidently, the Boards have to look beyond their job descriptions and aspects that satisfy their personal objectives. These are outdated scenarios. It is time to look at these problems which are emerging from the revolution of Board roles and outlook. Therefore, they must decide how they can solve the problems to make their contributions more consequential to their roles and organisations.