December 10, 2015
I have done many board evaluations over the years. When Canadian boards first adopted the practice of conducting regular evaluations more than 20 years ago, most used written questionnaires. Today there are a variety of methodologies. Questionnaires are still common, but many boards also use one-on-one discussions (with the board chair, governance committee chair or an outside consultant) or facilitated discussions with the full board.
When board evaluations were first introduced, they were often administered by the corporate secretary, with relatively little input by the board. Increasingly, boards are driving the process and are clear about what they expect from it. Directors want a process that is confidential, that elicits constructive and respectful feedback and that produces actionable recommendations for improvement.