Whilst the research is focused on HE, there are no doubt lessons to acknowledge for FE from this research piece.
The report demonstrates that key behavioural governance matters as well as procedural one are lacking, such as:
- Key conversations should take place in the room, not outside it
- The need for trust, confidence, and synergy between the Board and Executive team if governance is to be effective
- The strategy should set the agenda, rather than the compliance framework
- We should have an expectation that board members will add significant value beyond governance and performance oversight (bringing experience, judgement, and independence of mind, to highlight alternative options and potential ramifications and downsides)
For the above to be enacted, the CEO and executive team must be honest and open in their reporting and proposals, and engage with board members to listen effectively. In addition, there is a tendency for boards to think their job is to hold management accountable. Whilst this is rightly their primary fiduciary duty, it means that they often overlook their responsibility to hold themselves to account. Dealing with board succession, reviewing their performance and implementing feedback, and asking questions appropriately when things don’t make sense, are all important aspects of board governance.
The full report can be found here.