CEOs and Board Chairs - How to Build a Great Relationship
Aug 29, Effective Board Chair-Executive Director Relationships: Not About Roles! United Way Silicon Valley's president and CEO Mark Walker notes. May 7, However, the relationship between the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Board of Directors (Board) is the most crucial, and the state of this. May 21, Factors Affecting the CEO-Lead Director Relationship with the CEO or the lead director's responsibilities on the board of directors. 2.
It is then the role of the Board to decide whether this is a suitable use of organisational resources and, if so, hand it back to the CEO for implementation and management. Financial Reports The CEO is required to prepare annual budgets and financial reports for presentation to the Board for review and approval.
The CEO also has an opportunity to offer ideas and strategies on how performance can be improved. The role of the Board is to review, analyse and monitor the information presented by the CEO, as well as ask the appropriate questions to gain all the necessary information.
How to Strengthen the Nonprofit Board Chair – CEO Relationship
The Board is ultimately responsible for the financial health of the organisation, and therefore requires the cooperation of the CEO in order to ensure that it is fully informed. Nevertheless, it is crucial for the running of the organisation that this relationship is a healthy and professional one.
There is potential for Board members to sometimes feel excluded or disempowered, and they may feel it is a struggle to secure the information they require from a CEO.
Likewise, many CEOs perceive the Board as a monkey on their back, due to the monitoring and controlling role of the Board. Support is also essential and is a recognition that both the CEO and the Board are on the same side, working together to achieve a common organisational purpose.
Competence means not only relevant expertise that each director is bringing to the Board, but also professionalism in conduct as a Board member. For any CEO, it is important to see consistency and certainty in decision-making by the Board. If a CEO is not confident that decisions made will be supported by the Board, then he or she will feel a lack of confidence in their position within the organisation.
It is equally important for a Board to receive clear communication from the CEO especially on financial and administrative matterseffective representation of the organisation and a prompt response to reasonable requests for information. There needs to be recognition of the importance of both roles to the running of the organisation. Communicates openly, proactively and transparently: The CEO is fully and effortlessly transparent on the implications and risks of strategic decisions.
Proactively seeks board input outside of board meetings: Provides exposure to the executive team: The CEO facilitates informal introductions between members of the board and members of the management team. To facilitate succession planning, the CEO frequently brings members of the management team to board meetings, where managers play a substantive role.
The CEO encourages board members to advise key managers on issues tied to their specific areas of expertise. Fully commits to the idea of an independent board: The CEO is fully committed to the concept of an independent chairman and board.Nonprofit Program Podcast Series: CEO - Board Relationship
The CEO partners with the chairman to strengthen the board. The CEO works to avoid the development of board factions.
Essential Elements of an Effective CEO-Board Relationship | Russell Reynolds Associates
Balances strong points of view with openmindedness and flexibility: The CEO effectively challenges the assumptions of board members. Recognizes the power of complementary skills on the board: Directors advise on the substance of strategic decisions.
Directors provide thoughtful, actionable guidance on how to effectively translate strategy into action.
Directors maintain an open-door policy for the CEO to seek guidance. Directors ask probing, penetrating questions on the logic of strategic decisions and the dynamics of organizational performance.
Directors consistently demonstrate the courage to ask tough questions. Directors maintain a deep commitment to the performance of the organization, and this commitment clearly is reflected in their level of engagement on issues of critical importance to the performance of the firm.
Directors bring a spirit of energetic teamwork to all interactions with the CEO. Most of the pairs, however, worked this out together as the relationship evolved.
Effective Board Chair-Executive Director Relationships: Not About Roles!
Moreover, those pairs who met early to define expectations were not necessarily the pairs that developed the strongest relationships. Drawing distinctions between policy-making functions and involvement in day-to-day operations was not important for those pairs with the highest trust levels.
Several board chairs in high-trust relationships, with the enthusiastic support of their executive directors, had frequent, direct contact with the staff. We have to find ways to integrate our board into more active roles and how we run our business. And you have to be very, very firm about it.
This kind of board chair activity was not only accepted but encouraged in some of the largest, oldest, and best-known nonprofits in the study.