Governance tools

Effective tools are essential for implementing and monitoring strategic direction, budgets, and governance and risk management frameworks.

Managing the board’s business, activities and relationships

Directors meet regularly to review the organisation’s progress during the year so that they are in a position to report to members/shareholders on an annual basis.

A meeting is the best forum by which a board’s collective skills and experience can be brought to bear on their responsibilities as a board of directors. A board (and, in particular, the chairman) can enhance its efficiency and effectiveness by managing its business, activities and relationships in the following key ways:

  • set meeting agendas, including order of business and agree expectations about boardroom behaviour (eg decision items first, followed by discussion items and information items). Governance Institute has a half-day training program Meetings, Minutes and Resolutions that examines the legal requirements and core functions of various types of meetings
  • format board papers — the benefits of standard formats
  • identify what the board is being asked to do/agree to
  • ensure the timeliness of the distribution of board papers
  • manage board meetings (and sub-committee meetings, as appropriate) to allow the board sufficient time to consider issues properly, while ensuring that the business of the organisation is not delayed
  • discuss and agree that board members are expected to have read board papers prior to the meeting; that for information papers, a board member will seek clarification prior to the meeting and that there is little discussion on such papers (unless there is a significant issue identified by members/shareholders)
  • ensure the recording of meetings (minutes) and the timeliness of the distribution of minutes after the meeting. Governance Institute has a half-day training program Meetings, Minutes and Resolutions that examines the issues associated with recording minutes.
  • agree on access to information outside of formal meetings
  • agree on the level of contact with staff other than the CEO
  • implement a library of board papers for directors.

A company secretary can assist the board with all of the issues identified above.

View our best practice governance documents

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