Cartoon of committee chairman presenting report to board of directors
How to write and present better committee reports for the Board

A lot of work on boards takes place outside the actual board meeting – particularly in the committees. That’s where there is a chance for the non-executives to delve into and challenge the detail, and also to bring their particular expertise to bear. Quite rightly, work gets delegated to the committee level, but delegation isn’t the end of the story – all directors remain responsible.

So, the reporting back to the full Board by the committee chairs needs to work well. Many boards struggle with this. We often find that committee reports are seen as a formality to be endured, rather than something intrinsically useful. No-one questions that it needs to be done in some shape or form, but there’s typically a feeling that the “replay” (especially when it relates to a meeting which ended only half an hour previously and where most of those forced to listen to the report were present) is an ideal opportunity for catching up with emails or reading the late board papers…