imagesA Board or a Committee are essential to the running of for-profit and not-for-profit entities. But do they cost more than they contribute?

Board

A Board is a collection of individuals, elected or appointed, who jointly direct and oversee the activities of an organisation, whether for profit or not-for-profit. Other descriptions of this collection of individuals include Boards of Governors, of Management, of Trustees, and of Directors to name a few.

Typical duties include:
• governing the organisation by establishing broad policies and objectives;
• agreeing on the organisation’s Strategic Direction;
• selecting, appointing, supporting and reviewing the performance of the CEO
• ensuring the availability of adequate financial resources;
• approving annual budgets;
• accounting to the stakeholders for the organization’s performance;
• setting the salaries and compensation of company management;

The law in most jurisdictions requires that Directors put aside their private interests. Their interests are put aside and those of any other individual or organisation they might have an association with (direct or indirect). This way they can act solely, without conflict, in the interests of the organisation they are a Board member of.

Committee
A person or group of individuals elected or appointed to perform some service or function, and to investigate, report on, or act upon a particular matter or matters.

Some Committees, particularly in the not-for-profit sector, operate in the manner of a Board, yet are referred to as a ‘Committee’.

Cost-benefit of Board or Committee
Whatever its name, someone has to manage the resources of the meeting. Typically these resources include communications, Agendas, Minutes and Follow up Actions. The cost of the time spent managing these resources is rarely measured. Indeed, in the not-for-profit sector especially, frustrations occur when the value of the resources spent to manage a Committee or Board is greater than the value of the contribution the group offers.

The Board portal at Our Cat Herder will save staff time preparing, photocopying, collating and distributing papers, taking Minutes and chasing up Follow up Actions. This saving will help