AGB Consulting recently developed a new, online board performance survey focusing on six key areas: mission and strategy, leadership and shared governance, institutional sustainability, educational quality, board performance, and board culture. The customizable survey is designed to elicit candid perceptions of the board's effectiveness in each of these areas of responsibility.
Below is a short case study from the board professional of a system board (with 15+ board members) that found a board assessment, and the survey itself, to be especially useful.
When we reached out to AGB Consulting we had just hired a new chancellor, and we had a combination of tenured and newer trustees on the board. We were having difficulties with board communication and meeting structures, and we needed to assess the dynamics of our board so that we could work together more cohesively.
With the help of an AGB Consultant, we dedicated about four months to a board performance assessment. The chancellor and board chair worked closely with the consultant on developing an assessment survey that fit the needs of our board. AGB then disseminated the survey to the full board and collected and analyzed the survey responses. The consultant facilitated a board workshop where she reviewed the survey results, highlighting the board’s strengths and weaknesses, soft spots between tenured and newer trustees, and areas where the board should dedicate more attention. Taking the consultant’s lead, the board reflected on practices and processes that worked well and others that could be improved. The consultant also went over the roles and responsibilities of the board and the chancellor.
The assessment was a catalyst for understanding our roles and the rules of engagement. It has enhanced our processes and communications, and the relationship between the chancellor and the board started off on strong footing.