For Chairs and Company Secretaries, it can seem that as soon one board evaluation is over, it’s time to start thinking about the next one. When everyone’s busy, it’s tempting just to issue directors with the board review questionnaire you used last time and consider the job done. This approach soon becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If directors believe the questionnaire will be a waste of time, they invest little time or effort in it and, unsurprisingly, it gives them no insight or value. It becomes a chore.

How to avoid the annual board evaluation turning into a compliance chore

And getting people to engage – to consider carefully their responses, seek opportunities for improvement and provide insightful comments – is no easy task. Here are a few thoughts on how you can prevent questionnaire fatigue and get the most out of the process.