Why and how to describe your board members to the public

Companies don’t always do a great job of describing their boards of directors to the public. Some probably forget to review the texts on their websites and annual reports. Others may not have realized what an important opportunity they are missing.

Describing the significant experience and track record your board members have had in prior roles such as executives, non-executives or trustees provides a clear message that your board is competent and relevant. Companies who don’t pay attention to this important aspect of good corporate governance might eventually be seen as lacking openness and transparency – critical preconditions for shareholders, investors, and society to be able to judge the company’s future prospects.

According to recommendations on corporate governance, it is the responsibility of the board of directors to safeguard the company’s and the shareholders’ interests with care and with due consideration for the investors and other stakeholders. This implies that the company should be able to show that its board has the right composition and characteristics for this massively important task.

Two examples of companies which do a good job of describing especially the competencies and qualifications for being on the board are the Taylor Wimpey, one of the largest British based house building companies, and Pennon Group PLC, a British water utility.

In the example below from Taylor Wimpey, the Chair’s background and competencies are well described, as are her other duties and roles.

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The same is true in this example from Pennon Group.

It doesn’t have to be a huge task to put this information together, and if your board is already on a journey to become as professional as possible, it is worth putting in the effort.

If you’d like advice or assistance, we’d be happy to help.

Contact us at reception@leadershipadvisorgroup.com.

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Interested in self-evaluation? Try Online Board Evaluations

Well-aligned with national corporate- and foundation/charity governance recommendations, our board clients usually conduct an external board evaluation every three years. However, most national governance recommendations recommend that boards perform a self-evaluation in the years between an external board evaluation. Therefore, we have developed OnlineBoardEvaluations.com which is a tool enabling boards to self-evaluate effectively and effortlessly every year.