Board Meetings - Do They Serve Any Purpose? (Part 1)
By Jeremy Thorn
In the first of a three-part series, Jeremy Thorn, Non-Executive Director of a wide range of organisations and frequent writer and speaker on management topics, looks at Board Meetings, and asks first: do they serve any purpose?
BOARD MEETINGS — Love Them or Loath Them?
New directors of any organisation may quake at their early board meetings. What are we going to be asked? What is the etiquette? What can be said openly and what should better be left for more private conversation? (Part 3 of this article.)
More experienced directors may also quake at the thought...
...of their next board meeting for rather different reasons. Another waste of time? More ‘rear-view mirror driving’? More egos at work and obstacles in looking forward? (Part 2 of this article.)
And some directors, especially of smaller companies, may even wonder: Why hold regular board meetings at all? Let’s examine all of these concerns, frequently heard! — starting with the last, as Part 1.
WHY HAVE BOARD MEETINGS AT ALL?
First things first. Directors of any organisation have a ‘fiduciary duty of care’ for their organisation, bounded by law (whether they may know this or not). The law treats an organisation in its own right quite separately from its owners, with its own rights, for the responsibilities to be discharged by its Directors.
So even ‘Mr and Mrs Big’ as the founders and sole owners of a business will have duties and responsibilities for their ‘own’ organisation that may far transcend their specific interests. (Just by way of random example: if a ‘Company’ ever kills or maims an employee or contractor; breaches a contract of sale, purchase, lease or employment; fails to file its accounts on time or keep adequate records; trades... continued on page two >