If board documents are difficult to find or confusing to understand, directors are less prepared to attend meetings and to discuss strategy. This is especially true when the meeting packet for the board arrives late or when updates are not distributed to the board in real-time which can lead to confusion about what is “the right version” to look over.
Boards also will find it difficult to monitor and supervise an organisation if they don’t have complete information or enough director discussions between board meetings. Meetings for board members with unclear agenda items, a lack of background on strategic issues, or a lot of irrelevant discussion can make it difficult for the chair to get the meeting moving.
The role of boards is to perform as stewards for their companies and often have a significant impact on business performance. Ineffective boards can lead to toxic. A dysfunctional board might be characterized as having unruly members, who simplify complex issues or engage in discussions which diverge from the subject. Or, worse, it could have members who remain inactive or MIA.
Boards are complex and the board’s success is dependent on the involvement from a wide range of people who bring a variety of viewpoints as well as experiences and skills to the table. This is why a lot of boards have formed audit, compensation, nominating and governance, and financial services-regulated risk committees, in addition to their standing board committees. Some boards have ad-hoc committees to aid them in dealing with urgent, short-term issues.