The board is an important component of the governance structure of an organization that ensures the interests of the key stakeholders are protected. The board is therefore responsible for the following key functions;
- Putting in place strategic plans that when implemented by management enable the organization to achieve its goals;
- Developing and implementing an effective governance framework that will ensure the interests of stakeholders are protected and
- Taking responsibility for all actions of the organizations and giving regular and transparent accountability to the stakeholders.
Ineffective chairpersonThe chairman presides over the meetings of the board of directors and ensures the agenda is dealt with in an orderly fashion. Board meetings will only achieve their desired results if the chairperson can control the meeting and guide it toward making correct decisions that will enhance the capacity of the organization to achieve its strategic goals. With a weak chairperson, the board tends to waste time and make suboptimal decisions. A weak chairperson may also lead to the meeting being hijacked by strong members of the board and management for purposes of influencing decision-making. It is important therefore the chairperson of the board should have the necessary competence to effectively chair board meetings.
Ineffective board secretaryA board secretary works behind the scenes to provide an effective link between management and the board. The meetings will not be successfully held if the secretary cannot organize meetings, keep a record of the proceedings of the meetings, and fast-track everything required for meetings. The ineffectiveness of the board secretary may lead to the following annoying issues;
- Notice of board meetings, board papers, and minutes of the previous meetings may not be sent in time;
- Meeting venue is often not properly arranged and may have a lot of disruptions from outside;
- The chairperson is not adequately advised before and during the meeting;
- Break down of the communication between the board and management;
- The board is also not adequately advised on governance and strategic issues;
- Reminder notices for the meeting are not sent;
- Matters arising from minutes of the meetings are not adequately tracked; and
- The minutes of the deliberations and decisions of the board are not properly recorded.