Has your Board had its MOT?

15 January 2024

My car had its MOT last week and, at the same time, I had my NHS well-woman check, double whammy, and raising concerns as to whether the machinery is working as it should be…?

As I sat in the waiting room (or one of them, I should say) I could not help but compare this process to a Board effectiveness review.  To some, it may be a seemingly tedious exercise, but in reality an absolute necessity and, for me (certainly in relation to my health), I was determined I was going to embrace it wholeheartedly in a commitment to create a better, more effective, stronger performing me. 

Whether embarking on a MOT, health check or governance review, many of the questions that need answering are the same:

Ÿ     Is the engine strong enough, consistent, reliable and does it provide a strong core for the parts around it?

Ÿ     Is it getting the right fuel, to enable it to fulfil all of its functions (in my health's case, am I taking the right vitamins for a woman my age?!).

Ÿ     What are the connections like with the parts around us?  Does the core communicate well with the extremities?  Is there the right amount of support, challenge, healthy discussion and do we have a strong and well-functioning framework?

Ÿ     Are healthy habits, behaviours and ways of working being instilled in every aspect of performance?

Ÿ     Importantly, is the foundation there to enable this vessel to perform, maintain and, in some cases grow, and preserve its overall health? 

Light touch Board Effectiveness Reviews should happen every year and every three years there should be a deep dive supported by an external reviewer  A Board Effectiveness Review is essentially an MOT for your Board.  How well does the Board work to support the effective governance of the organisation and create an optimum environment.

And the results:

My car passed, save for the wipers which needed changing in order to provide clarity of vision, a modest expense in relative terms to the advantage it would create.

My health scored an eight out of ten, but the doctor said that, as a woman of maturing years (yes he actually said that) I needed to start doing a few things differently, to adapt to my environment and make myself more sustainable for my future years (another feature, I thought to myself, of good governance).

If you wish to have a chat about Board Effectiveness Reviews, good governance or your board generally, please do give us a call.  When your Board is working well the organisation thrives and we have seen it ourselves in many cases we have worked on.

Emma Moody

Head of Charities

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0191 230 8823

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