Over the last decades there has been a shift in perspectives; from viewing the Board of Directors as merely a legal necessity, to seeing it as a strategic organ expected to add value to the organization through providing direction and advise to the management. Nevertheless, for a board to add value to an organisation it is vital that the composition of individuals secures a high performing team and not just a random summation of individuals. Therefore, in order to attain optimal performance for the governance organ it is essential to complement experience, capabilities, leadership styles and personalities. Therefore, continuous high-quality assessments of the Board’s effectiveness are crucial to ensure the continued prosperity, professionalism and success of the organisation.
Having worked with Executive Search, Board Services and Leadership Services for over 40 years, Amrop early on acknowledged that it may be challenging for Boards to take a step back and reflect upon the performance of the Board and its members. Amrop also recognized that many companies still tend to use Board Evaluations for compliance reasons rather than as a ‘value adding” tool. For that reason, Amrop decided to relaunch its Board Evaluation Services in September 2017, adding a refined Board Evaluation Tool that was developed in-house by a team of senior partners from all around the world.
Svein Ruud, Managing Partner Amrop Stockholm and Global Leader for the Amrop Board Services Practice Group, has led the work. Svein stresses that he is very proud to see that Amrop Board Evaluation now is a fully-fledged evaluation process with three phases thoroughly assessing the Board and its members, using The Amrop Board Evaluation Tool, In-depth Interviews and shadowing.
Amrop has a long tradition of advising boards, however, a group of Managing Partners noted a couple of years ago that there was a substantial need for a better self-assessment tool to start off the Board Evaluation Process. Svein Ruud noted that “we found that the products that were already out on the market were not good enough since many did not even cover the basic criterions from the corporate governance codes, and if they did, the layout was neither appealing nor user friendly”. The Board Services Practice Group therefore decided to develop its own tool, together with the software provider Cubiks, based on the extensive experiences from senior Amrop partners, current demands from the business community as well as the recommendations stated in different corporate governance codes from around the world. Among them, the U.K Corporate Governance Code added tremendous value to the work. Svein Ruud says that “the results of this product have been truly amazing! Like any development project with a substantial IT component it took a bit longer than we first anticipated, but the questions, the format and not least the final report have been praised by both clients and participants”.
It is important to note that the Board Evaluation Tool is only one part of the assessment process, and the internally developed curriculum for the in-depth interviews are just as important, if not more, to contribute to a more sustainable and holistic board. Svein Ruud maintains that it is the internationally developed, locally anchored and integrated Board Evaluation process that differentiates this product from our competitors. “It is a tool that truly adds value to our clients and their respective organisations’ needs, instead of simply being used as a tick in the box for compliance reasons”.
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