Using the Board Assessment Data

As A Full Board

Once the assessments have been completed we recommend that your governance committee takes the lead on organizing a structured time for the full board to discuss the results together as a team.  Often this is done as part of an annual board retreat. A foundational component of the BoardOnTrack methodology is Assess - Align - Accelerate. Once you have completed the assessments, it is important to ensure good group process to reflect on the results, and ensure that there is alignment between the board members and then the board and the CEO. Once you are aligned on your strengths and areas to improve, you can create a clear set of goals and really accelerate you work as a team.

The assessments are designed to give the Board and the CEO an objective third party take on how you are doing on your path to excellence. 

Most boards find it useful to take these assessments once a year, typically in the late spring/early summer as a way to complete an annual full board assessment. 

In addition, if you have a lot of turnover at some other point in the year and/or add a handful on new trustees, you might want to retake the assessments to fully gauge the board’s knowledge. 

As a team we recommend using the data in the following ways:

Team Engagement / Board Culture We recommend first thinking about participation. Did 100% of the trustees and the CEO complete 100% of the assessments? Why or why not? What does this tell you about how engaged the team is? What do you want to do about it? 

Board Alignment How aligned is the board? Do you collectively agree on your strengths and areas to improve? Flag the places where there is a difference of opinion and make sure to have time to process this out.

Board - CEO Partnership / Alignment Successful boards have a strong partnership between the board and the CEO. Look at the assessment results and ask yourself how aligned are the board and the CEO on strengths and areas that need improvement. Are there places where the board and CEO are not aligned? Flag any major areas and be sure to discuss as a full group. 

Identify Priority Areas to Improve Look for areas where the majority of respondents gave low marks (1s & 2s) prioritize these for discussion and action steps. 

Identify Key Strengths Look for areas where you have mostly 4s and 5s. Give yourselves a pat on the back. 

 At The Committee Level

After processing out these results as a full board, use them to help create a set of prioritized goals for the year. Remember, board goals are really committee specific goals presented collectively.  The best way to do this is to have the appropriate committee take a much deeper dive into the assessment results and use them to craft specific committee goals.

The first 5 assessments and the last assessment relate to the work of the governance committee. The governance committee should look at these assessments and use them to help set their committee goals for the year. The corresponding committee should do the same for the other assessments. 

As you are working on goals and a work plan to take action on the areas where you need improvement, please note that if you click on the Recommendations Section you will see content (samples, examples, etc.) that will help you take action. 

Your Personal Results

At a personal level, you should look at your own scores and reflect on how you compare to your fellow trustees. Are there places where you are in significant disagreement with the board? If so, why is this? Are there places where you are scoring much lower than the board? If so, look at the recommendations section and create a personal professional development plan. Commit to reading one article a week over a cup of coffee and before you know it you will have significantly upped your governance game, and by the time you retake the assessments, you will be scoring much higher.