The Board and the executive team each possess information, that if aggregated, is far greater than the individual information sets. It’s up to both parties to build a relationship and create an environment that fosters valuable information exchange.
There are three key contributors who bring important information that will drive strategy and create value for consumers and stakeholders. Each brings a different perspective and therefore information set that would dominate the value of the individual information set if shared, synthesised and used effectively. The Board, consumers and the executive team are each exposed to different sets of information and it’s the Board that must act as the intermediary to facilitate discussions and decisions that add value for consumers. This makes the Board a key change agent responsible for influencing and shaping strategy.
This is a very different role to say 3-5 years ago when the Board played more of a “monitor” role in making sure that the CEO did a good job and that the finances were in order. The Board’s role in strategy support can be tricky if the executive and management see the Board’s contribution to information exchange and debate as crossing management role boundaries, particularly where this reshapes strategy. Its role in enhancing and shaping strategy makes it an imperative that Board members are carefully selected, are in a position to bring valuable knowledge to the boardroom and have the capability to synthesise the information in a useful and intelligent way. It is another reason why individuals and the Board will benefit from development, just like management and the executive do.