A bit of blue-sky thinking and white space

This is the time of year when many company secretaries and management turn their minds to the annual strategy away day.  In normal board meetings, the regular agenda of business and seemingly endless “governance” items can squeeze the time available for strategic discussion.  Yet, setting the strategic direction is arguably the Board’s prime responsibility.  The non-executives are there to hold management to account on delivering the strategy but how can they exercise that responsibility if it hasn’t been clearly agreed in the first place?

Board of Directors Discussing Agenda for the Strategy Away Day

Most boards now hold away days once or even twice a year, and many find them stimulating and rewarding.  At the same time, when we’re doing board evaluations, it’s not unusual to detect a sense of disappointment, lost opportunity or even tedium at “yet another away day”.  When boards get it right, we find they’ve followed these eight critical rules.