Improve your board’s effectiveness

As part of our range of services to boards, Company Directors developed the Governance Analysis Tool™ – an external, 'guided' self-assessment to facilitate collective self-reflection by a board of its governance practices.

The tool is a useful, efficient and effective method of focusing attention on the governance system as a whole and identifying the areas the board believes are its strengths and where there are opportunities for improvement. It allows the board to achieve collective clarity on the key levers at its disposal that may contribute to enhanced performance.

Based on the Corporate Governance Framework™, the Governance Analysis Tool™ is the product of years of development, using knowledge and experience gained from a cross-section of our most senior directors and created with one mission in mind - to build a stronger governance environment for business.

The sectors

The Governance Analysis Tool™ is based on our proprietary Corporate Governance Framework ™ - a comprehensive structure canvassing board views across the breadth of corporate governance.

The framework is categorised into four distinct areas or quadrants:

The Stakeholder

Focuses on the approach taken by the board concerning accountability to, and communication and engagement with, key stakeholders.

Individual director

Focuses on individual director attributes including an understanding of role and duties, competence, leadership qualities and behaviours, and the responsibilities and style of the chair.

The Organisation

Relates to how the board's governance practices permeate the organisation as a whole in the context of its regulatory compliance, its executive and management personnel, its resourcing, its strategy, its risk management and its performance.

The Board

Covers the qualities and operation of the board as a combined team of directors including use of committees, effectiveness of meetings, board dynamics, group competencies, and understanding and compliance systems relating to legal standards.

Using the framework, our current service includes options for:

  • Listed
  • Commercial Unlisted (Pty Ltd/Public Unlisted)
  • Not-for-profit
  • Public Sector

We also have reviews suitable for:

  • Co-operative/Mutual organisations
  • Board Committees

Should your governance review need to achieve specific outcomes, we can create a review to suit your needs.

The different forms

The Tool has been adapted to allow for differing levels of insight. It is possible for a review to cover the entire framework in standard form, or in depth; or to target particular aspects of it.

The different forms of the tool offer boards varying insights as well as supporting governance learning and development. There are many scenarios that the Tool can offer support for, whether a board has one particular area of challenge, is looking to benchmark its performance year-on-year, or needs assistance reviewing outdated frameworks.

Scenarios

Governance Analysis Tool™ reviews may be undertaken in a wide variety of circumstances.

For example:

  • A seasoned listed company board decides it wants to undertake a Governance Analysis Tool review to supplement its bi-annual board evaluations conducted by an external consultant.

  • A company secretary of a large public company has been tasked with sourcing a fresh approach to the board’s review process, having used the same questionnaire for three consecutive cycles

  • A mid-sized not-for-profit organisation board decides to understand a board review with a view to considering external board consultants at some future point

  • A new chair is appointed to the board and wishes to get some early readings from other board members as to where they see governance strengths and opportunities for improvement

  • A chair is finding it difficult to draw out board members’ views on particular issues and wants to provide a safe and systematic way in which they can provide their views

  • A chair of a public sector company is looking to build consensus around an action plan aimed at improving the performance of the board

  • A listed company with many subsidiaries, or a not-for-profit with a federated structure, seeks a uniform framework by which subsidiary boards are assessing their governance practices across the group.

All boards differ in their approach to reviews and evaluations. Whether it is an initial 'yardstick' for the board, or a more detailed and comprehensive review, the Governance Analysis Tool™ offers solutions to meet your specific needs.

The experience

Once underway, statements are provided to each board member via a confidential online survey asking members to assess, in their view, the effectiveness of their organisation's governance against these statements of good practice.

Individual results are collated, analysed and provided back to the board in report form. Key to the analysis is the heat map and the spider graph (below). Boards then have the option of undertaking a facilitated discussion session to explore the findings in greater detail.

Simple and straightforward, the process includes:

  • A chair and board briefing on the review
  • Secure and confidential online survey for each director to complete
  • A written Report reflecting your board’s collective response drawn from analysis and collated by a governance expert
  • A one-on-one discussion with the chair to detail the findings 
  • A fully facilitated 60 minute session with the board 

The process is led by a Company Directors’ representative.

Heat Map - See the board’s high level results mapped against our framework in a snapshot:

Heat Map

Spider Graph - Pinpoint the response variation across the boardSpider Graph

 

Features and benefits

The Governance Analysis tool allows boards to clearly identify strengths and opportunities whilst understanding potential outliers. 
  1. Relevance - four specifically- designed modules are tailored to the differing needs and requirements of boards.

  2. Expert facilitation - our Specialists are senior directors chosen for their sector experience as well as subject matter expertise and experience.

  3. Confidentiality -survey responses are confidential to the individual and only reported in aggregated, non-attributable form, unless instructed otherwise by survey participants,

  4. Benchmarking - over time the Tool can be used as a means to benchmark year-on-year and against other organisations.

  5. Consensus - creates collective clarity regarding governance strengths and where opportunities for improvement may lie, resulting in a common view of what to focus on for better organisational performance.

  6. Time commitment - available in three different levels of granularity, so that even for time-poor directors can benefit from the Tool.

  7. Assurance - inclusion of the board’s use of the Tool and our Corporate Governance Framework provides stakeholders with a level of assurance that the board is committed to regular reflection and review against a robust and credible framework.

  8. User friendliness - our surveys present information in a very concise and practical manner.

  9. DPD units – all products and services of the Governance Analysis Too™ count towards your Director Professional Development units