Committing to the formation of strategy, developing that strategy and communicating it are significant responsibilities of any board.
How best can the developed strategy be measured, reviewed, and managed?
I will leave the measurement of strategy performance for the third in this series of short essays. This short essay focuses on the board’s management of its strategy through the Chief Executive (howsoever titled).
There is nothing that quite replaces the annual board get-away for deep, focused strategic thinking about its role, its responsibilities, and the organisation in which its fiscal duties and fiduciary responsibilities are invested. These can be richly rewarding times, and if well facilitated, can bring long term, positive momentum to the board and senior management, with a renewed focus on organisationally important things to be achieved. But if your board’s last strategic thinking and planning session was, say, in November 2019, you know now that the world has almost completely changed within one calendar quarter.
Your board no doubt meets several times each year. But do you meet to drive an Agenda to get the business done or are you meeting to drive a transformational and winning organisational culture? There is a world of difference between these two outcomes. Without detracting from the value of still getting away for an annual, thorough review of strategy, there are useful alternatives that make more frequently inclusive focus on strategy at regular “any time” board meetings, and more formally on a periodic basis throughout any given year. Whether conscious or unconscious, you and your board drive the culture of the organisation in how you use the opportunities of your governance meetings.
Essentially there can be three types of meetings in which strategy can be given a dedicated place on your board agenda for its appropriate diligent review:
- The any time, or monthly meeting;
- A bi-monthly, or quarterly meeting; and
- The annual review.