What is a Board Management Maturity Model?

A model of board management maturity is a tool that helps evaluate how well your board of directors is managing itself. Its objective is to help board members improve their performance and help make the business more successful. The process usually involves a self-administered survey followed by a discussion with consultants who interpret the results. Most models employ a 3-to-5 level scale to evaluate different aspects of the performance of your board. The first level is characterized as impromptu and without formal standards or alignment. The third and fourth levels are more defined and contain processes.

The most important thing to consider in any maturity model is how it prioritizes learning for your board. If you know what your board’s current level is, it is easy to determine the capabilities you need to learn the next. There are models that provide general estimates of how long it takes to advance the level at which you are currently (e.g. “a level change is approximately six months and 25% reduction in productivity”).

The majority of boards start at the low end of the maturity scale. They are the reluctantly conscientious ones who know their responsibilities as well as the risk they face. They are reluctant to role of company secretaries invest more than the minimum amount of time and money into governance because it distracts from their “real jobs” of managing.

These are the ones who must be made to accept that governing is a distinct and a completely different job from executive management, one which requires training and assessment, as well as the appropriate funding. It is a risky activity that tests your understanding of the world and your ability to take calculated risks in an unorganized and interconnected external world of physical environment, politics economics, social and technological advances and demographic trends.

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