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10 questions a board should ask a CEO

by Alex Crimmins

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Large organisations are governed by their board of directors. Here are ten questions the board should ask their CEO at least once a year. 

One of the chief executive’s key roles is to carry out a company’s strategic plan in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Under the authority of the board, he or she is also responsible for the general performance of the company, along with the day-to-day running and management of the business.

The board can appoint a chief executive from among its members and delegate to this person the power exercisable by the board.

The board can also name a chief executive who is not a member of the board.

The chief executive is responsible for answering any questions posed by the board.

Ten questions for a CEO

David W Duffy in his book A Practical Guide To Corporate Governance has outlined ten questions the chief executive is likely to be asked by the board.

1. What are the critical challenges facing the organisation in the coming months/ year?

2. What is your biggest worry about the business?

3. How is the company performing against its strategic plan, its annual business plan budget and its competitors?

4. Have the company’s resources been managed and deployed in the best way possible to achieve its objectives?

5. What contingency plans have been prepared to cope with unexpected events? Is there a risk management plan?

6. What are the most critical performance criteria for staff?

(a) How are the key executives performing?

(b) How do you assess and manage the performance of those who report to you?

7. Who would succeed or stand in for you if you were not available for whatever reason?

8. Is the board providing sufficient support and value to you and your team?

9. How are you conveying the company’s ethics and values to staff?

10. What new skills and experience would you like to see on the board in the future?

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