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10 tips on how to chair a board committee effectively

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David W Duffy

CEO - The Corporate Governance Institute
12th of April 2023 at 13:00 (GMT+1)
Via Zoom

Key Takeaways

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  1. The purpose of a Board committee is to delegate work that’s work that’s detailed in nature. 
    • It’s not to take too much boardroom time on matters which should be discussed at the committee level. 
    • So the whole purpose is to free up boardroom time to focus on what I think are the bigger issues: policy and strategy.
    • And ensure to make the best use of NEDs
  2. Know your role and the role of the committee. 
    • You’re there to provide leadership – a combination of moral authority and admin/sharing skills. 
    • You have a key role in recruiting the right people. 
    • You need to report thoroughly back to the board at the AGM. 
    • You need to create an environment where it’s okay to challenge everything. 
  3. Have the right skills
    • Judge the role of charing a board committee with your own competencies. Are all your skills in place?
    • Competencies include chairing, facilitation, subject matter expertise, relationship management, and the ability to sunmmarise.
  4. Clear terms of reference
    • Make sure the terms of reference have been approved by the board, because if they haven’t, the committee should not exist!
    • Good terms of reference will include information like: members, reporting, individual duties and the structure for an annual review. 
  5. The committee’s plan must align with the board work plan.
    • Develop a supportive work plan that respects mutual priorities and clarifies timeframes for deliverables. 
  6. Establish the committee ground rules
    • What are the values and expectations that everyone will live by?
    • How will members participate, and how can you assist this?
  7. Set clear outcomes for each meeting
    • Never arrive at meeting day ill-prepared. 
    • Start and finish on time and keep to time. Prepare what needs to be prepared in advance, and ensure everyone is on the same page going on. 
  8. Ensure a timed agenda
    • A good agenda will have an itemised structure, with the expected results for each item (for example, a vote), and the time they should finish. 
  9. Accurate and concise minutes
    • The minutes are the most important record of board meetings, and may be heavily relied on in future. 
    • Writing them is an art form, it takes time to perfect. 
    • The process for approving them should be adhered to at all times. 
    • Remember, minutes are legal documents. Treat them as such. 
  10. Make sure your reports are accurate
    • Like committees, you should know the purpose of reports; who they are speaking to, what they should say, and how they should be laid out. 


This Webinar

Is your board committee as effective as it should be? Does it help to free up board time to focus on policy and the future? Could better chairing and committee management skills help in this regard?

Learn the secrets of successfully chairing and managing board committees. Leave the webinar knowing how to deliver on committee Terms of Reference, write effective committee reports and make an impact when presenting to the board.

This Speaker

David W Duffy is the CEO and Founder of The Corporate Governance Institute. His mission is to make corporate governance, engaging, stimulating and relevant globally by bringing relentless innovation to how adults learn. Through his foresight he has enabled people from over 50 countries to learn about corporate governance online when and where it suits them. He has substantial experience in advising on all aspects of corporate governance has completed over 200 reviews governance assignments. He has authored the following books based on his consulting and practical experience as a board member; – A Practical Guide to Corporate Governance – published by Chartered Accountants Ireland. – A Practical Guide for Company Directors – published by Chartered Accountants Ireland

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