Board Evaluations

Board Evaluations

As boards focus on achieving greater effectiveness, directors are increasingly turning to outside advisors to assist them with the board evaluation process. The impact that a skilled expert can have on the quality of a board evaluation has led regulators and governments around the world to encourage more boards to adopt this practice.

“A board needs processes in place to evaluate and improve the performance of individual directors, board committees and the performance of the board as a whole.”

Building High Performance Boards, the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance

Hansell McLaughlin Advisory is a leading facilitator of board evaluations. Working closely with directors, executives, and other board stakeholders, we offer thoughtful, actionable recommendations to improve the way directors engage with governance, strategic planning, and risk oversight.

Our Difference


Some of the factors which distinguish our board evaluation practice include:

Expertise

We are in boardrooms every day — not just when it comes time to evaluate board effectiveness. We advise boards and directors on every aspect of their work. We understand boards and boardroom dynamics, and we know how to listen to directors. As board members ourselves, we have first-hand experience with common boardroom concerns.

Independence

Our practice is focused on the legal and business aspects of governance. We do not offer a broader range of services that could impair our independence in the boardroom.

Protection

The lawyers of Hansell LLP have professional responsibilities to protect our clients’ confidential information. Solicitor-client privilege is only available when communications are between lawyers and their clients in the context of legal advice.

Data Science & Analytics

We harness quantitative and qualitative insights gleamed from extensive databases focused on boards. In addition to data on public company boards, we possess proprietary data on crown corporations, universities, and not-for-profit enterprises.

Our Approach


No two board evaluations are the same. We work with board and committee chairs, corporate secretaries, and other stakeholders to determine an appropriate scope for each engagement. From there, we develop a work plan tailored to those requirements. Some of the services we frequently provide include:

Questionnaires

A concise questionnaire or discussion guide focused on key issues provides valuable context when considering the board’s effectiveness and ensures that interviews are conducted as efficiently as possible.

Standard

A tried and tested questionnaire framework designed to address key issues applicable to virtually any board.

Customized

A bespoke questionnaire informed by your governance structure and targeting your specific concerns and priorities.

Peer-to-Peer

A supplementary questionnaire to give and receive anonymized feedback on boardroom strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Self-Assessment

A supplementary questionnaire offering directors the opportunity to consider their own achievements and areas for growth.

Discussion Guide

A tailored list of topics for consideration during our interviews, which may supplement or replace the questionnaire.

Discussions

While questionnaires provide valuable context to the board evaluation process and highlight the most significant issues for consideration, in-depth interviews with board members, members of senior management, and other stakeholders provide superior insight into the board’s operations.

Interviews

Candid discussions with our governance experts to explore and discuss the key themes identified through questionnaire responses.

Questionnaire Only

Limit the evaluation to an analysis of questionnaire results to minimize costs and enjoy a rapid work product turn around.

Results

In delivering our findings to the board, we emphasize concise, actionable recommendations that clearly outline the most significant opportunities for improving board effectiveness.

Facilitated Discussion

Our experts will attend a board meeting and walk through the results of your evaluation by highlighting key themes and discussing opportunities for improvement.

Written Report

We will prepare a formal report outlining our analysis of each subject matter area considered in the evaluation process and highlighting the most promising opportunities for the board.

Detailed Analysis

Using our extensive proprietary databases, we will provide a wide range of supplementary analysis including benchmarking studies, best practice reviews, and comparator case studies.

Governance 360 Review

In connection with a board evaluation, we will conduct a comprehensive review of terms of reference, mandates, and other governance documents critical to board effectiveness.

Begin Your Board Evaluation


To discuss your board evaluation needs, contact Harlan Tufford, Senior Governance Consultant, at htufford@hanselladvisory.com or 416-649-8496.