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What is a Board Management Maturity Model?

A board management maturity model is a method used to assess how well your board of directors is managing itself. Its objective is to help board members improve performance and make the company more efficient. The process usually involves a questionnaire that is self-administered and then a discussion with consultants to analyze the results. Most models use a three-to-five levels scale to assess various aspects of the performance of your board. The first level is defined by impromptu processes without formal standards or alignment, whereas the third and the second levels have more identified and documented processes.

The most important aspect of any maturity model is the way it prioritizes your board’s education. Knowing your board’s maturity level makes it easy to determine what skills you’ll need learn next. Certain models also include generalized estimates of how long it takes to move up a particular level (e.g. «a level change takes around six months and 25% reduction in productivity»).

Most boards start at the bottom of maturity scale. They are the least conforming ones who are aware of their responsibilities and exposure. They aren’t willing to put any more than the minimum amount of time and resources in governance as it diverts attention from their «real jobs» of managing.

They are the ones who must be made to accept that governing is a separate, distinct and different job from executive management, which requires training and assessment, as well as funding to support. It’s a risky job that challenges your thinking and ability to take calculated risks in a complex and interconnected world of politics and economics.

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