Checklist: Providing the right documents

By governance expert Ruth Lesirge

Ruth Lesirge
Ruth Lesirge

Trustees routinely receive a substantial set of documents to read in advance of each board meeting. They take a lot of organisational resources to prepare and a considerable amount of time to read.

But do you know whether your board is receiving enough, too much or even the right information to make good strategic decisions?

Trustees should check that they are getting the data, analysis and advice that they need, even when all is going well. It is unreasonable to assume that this can always be instinctively divined by your chief executive.

Boards need to maintain a governance overview, but they will also want to avoid over-burdening the executive team with unreasonable demands. They will therefore aim to achieve a balance between value to the board and the effort expended in preparing such reports.

Competent boards will make time to discuss with their chief executive the kind of information they need to receive, as well as the format that will aid debate and decision-making.

The leadership of the chair in this matter is central and can make all the difference.

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