Great news! I passed all my assessments and am now accredited as a Company Director through the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Having worked as a performance partner to executive teams for decades, what’s been really revealing for me through this program is understanding the role of the Board and how that differs to that of the Executive.
The AICD consistently emphasises the importance of collaborative relationships between Directors and the Executive; and of each of those levels understanding their roles in relation to leading the organisations they serve. The effectiveness of the two relies on both groups understanding what they are responsible for and knowing how they can enable each other to be effective.
Where a Director may set an appetite for risk within a business, management manages that risk. Where a Director sets the purpose and longer-term strategic direction, management crafts the strategic plan and ensures it’s implemented. Where Directors set the tone that shapes the culture, it would be up to management, led by the CEO, to demonstrate those values. 1
Similarly, within an organisation the same goes for an executive team and their next layer of leaders. A client I worked with last week is a good example of this as an Executive team who empower their next level (a Global Leadership Team) to execute on strategy. What they have learned over the past few years is that it’s not so much about having clear division between the roles – it’s more about understanding where the points of collaboration are and where they need to work together.
So, clarity on accountabilities of leadership at every level is important plus how those levels need to support and enable each other.
However, if the strategic direction of the organisation is wrong, or the management’s strategy implementation is poor, the capability of Directors is inadequate, legal or regulatory frameworks undermines or restrains performance, or organisational culture and strategy are not aligned – then the organisation will not perform.2
Alignment at all levels is the key, from the Board, through management, to the workforce. And importantly having very clearly defined roles and responsibilities helps drive organisations forward.
Are your Board roles clearly defined? Whether you’re a Director, a CEO or an Executive team member, we should all be asking this question.