Who should read this?

Startup and growth-stage founders and CEOs.

Why does it matter?

A board’s collective contribution is second only to executive leadership in steering the company in the direction of success. It’s a partnership.

As a board is necessary to enhance shareholder value, it makes sense to evaluate the board’s performance.

How can you chart board performance & improve on it?

Here’s a quick look at how growing companies can chart board performance, improve on it and maximize the board’s engagement.

A board must administer this exercise as a self-examination. And the founder/CEO should play a role in ensuring it’s a priority.

Every board should do it.

Self-assessment includes fundamentals like attendance and contribution at board and committee meetings. But it goes deeper than that. Fundamentally, you should use information gleaned from the exercise to:

  1. Refine the board.
  2. Aid developmental purposes.
  3. Ensure the right people are on the right committees.

How to run the performance evaluation

The evaluation exercise should take place from three different angles:

  1. The board reviews itself as a whole (an assessment by the entire board, with potential contribution by the CEO).
  2. Individual board members conduct a self-assessment.
  3. Board members assess fellow board members.

These components can be done separately, as part of the exercise, and be administered through online survey tools either as a form-based questionnaire or as a scoring matrix.

The board itself (managed by the Chair) can design and administer the evaluation, or, for maximum objectivity, they can hire an external consultant.

Download sample board evaluation forms

Download these three sample evaluation forms (Word documents) that cover the three different angles of assessment:

Additional resources


By Gregory Phipps