Effective Board Governance and the Role of Committees
The structure of a Board and the planning of the Board’s work are key elements to effective governance. Establishing committees is perceived to be one way of better managing the work of the Board, thereby strengthening and enhancing the Board’s governance role.
Historically, it has been common practice for Boards, using a traditional governance model, to strike various standing committees to deal with major functional areas of the organization. Each Board committee would work closely with the management team or staff member responsible for this functional area. They would work together in addressing issues, solving problems, developing internal policies and establishing plans to monitor performance and compliance within each functional area.
For example, it was commonplace for a Board to establish a human resource or staffing committee, who would work with the HR manager to develop HR policies including hiring, conduct, discipline, compensation and performance. It was expected that the work of the committee would “filter” up to the Board and from time to time the Board would be asked to approve some high level policies. For the most part, however, the establishment of work related policies was left to the committee to approve and for management to implement and the work of the committee was largely unseen by the board, except for approving perfunctory minutes from the committee meetings and receiving a brief verbal report from the chair of the committee at the Board meeting.READ ON