What is a Board Management Maturity Model?

A model of maturity for the board is a method used to assess how well your board of directors manages itself. Its purpose is to help the board members improve their performance and make the company more efficient. The process typically includes a self-reporting questionnaire that is followed by a meeting with consultants who interpret the results. Most models use a scale of three or five levels to evaluate the various aspects of the board’s performance. The first level is characterised by unplanned processes without formal standards or alignment, whereas the third and fourth levels have more clearly defined and incorporated processes.

The most important aspect of any maturity model is how it prioritizes your board’s learning. If you know what your board’s current state is, it is easy to determine what skills you’ll need to learn the next. Some models provide generalized estimates of how long it will board crisis take to move to a higher level (e.g. “a level change takes around six months and a reduction of 25% in productivity”).

The majority of boards start at the lowest level of maturity those who are grudgingly obedient who know their responsibilities and personal exposure. They are hesitant to invest any more than the minimum time and money into governance due to the fact that it distracts them from their ‘proper jobs’ of managing.

These are the ones who must be made to accept that ‘governing’ is a separate, distinct and a completely different job from executive management, which requires training and assessment, as well as funding to support. It is a risky activity that challenges your thinking and ability to take calculated risks in a complex and interconnected external world of economics and politics.

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