If you view the NED role advertisements for the Housing Sector, they have a high proportion that require governance knowledge present in the new recruit.
Excellence in Governance is the Code that drives good corporate governance for Housing Trusts.
Achieving that Board role is not likely to have been easy, more often than not, highly competitive which when achieved needs to be discarded in favour of that of a team player – totally opposite to what was needed to reach the position.
Boards are a team of strangers, put together infrequency to handle the most important decisions for the Trust, often with limited industry or operational knowledge. It is typical for Executive members to withold information from non-executives / Board as a whole, wanting to retain the decision making at management level.
The dynamics created by this situation often leads to an unconstructive challenge risk and non co-operative team dynamics and a dysfunctional Board.
Yet the success of this team behaving as a unit is crucial to the success of the organisation. A Board Evaluation is one very effective way or reviewing the Trust’s current “status” – it is like holding up the mirror or reality. This reality check is valuable to objectively determine the current position versus the desired status.
Once this is known, progress can be made to work forward, define recommendations and layout actions to reach the desired Board behaviour and team.
A very good article was published by Just Housing in July 2011 on the subject of human dynamics and the value of the Board Evaluation in the Housing Sector – click here for a copy of the publication.