Board directors often have concerns about how they can engage in strategic planning without micromanaging or stepping outside of their authority. There is a shift away from three to five year time horizons as well as long planning processes to strategic frameworks that outline the organizational priorities and business plans that mix programmatic and operational goals with financial forecasts and robust annual plans that include clear time frames and metrics.
Yet a board that is focused on its oversight responsibilities must to be involved in defining strategy, and assessing the strategic activities that are happening, understanding that there will always be special situations that require the full attention of the Board and developing a monitoring plan for the strategy. This article outlines how to do all that in a way that allows the Board to be part of strategic conversations and productively participate in them, while avoiding the common mistakes that can cause problems with strategic management for all organizations.
One of the most popular articles on our site is our post on how to facilitate an event for strategic planning for your board. This article addresses a question that is raised repeatedly in this field where the board must decide between implementing the company’s strategy as well as its own strategy. This is a critical discussion because when the Board believes that its primary responsibility is to approve any plan that are presented to it, it could be at risk of becoming a ‘rubber stamp’ board. To avoid this, it is best to have an upfront conversation between the board and management regarding the strategic issues they believe are most important. This will allow the board to help frame these issues and for management to be open to suggestions from the board that enhance and refine the problem framing.