Spotlight report highlights issues for board and CEO performance

Posted on 22 Jul 2019

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

ICDA executive director Patrick Moriarty’s first response to ICDA's Spotlight Report Assessing Board & CEO Performance was alarm at the nearly two in 10 organisations failing to ever review their CEO’s performance.

Front cover ICDA Spotlight Report Board CEO Performance July2019

He said the study should be a wake-up call for organisations to schedule reviews annually.

The study released in Assessing Board Performance week last month, found:

  • 16% of boards have never reviewed their CEO’s performance, while a third of not-for-profit boards don’t have a system for reviewing their own performance
  • Half of board members say they’d benefit from governance training
  • Health sector organisations and bigger groups are more likely than others to have processes for reviews, inductions and governance training
  • Those in the sport and recreation sector are more likely to think board commitments take too long, and are far less likely to think they’d received a good induction

“How well your top manager is performing is vital to the overall success of your organisation. Groups can’t afford not to monitor their own performance as a board, and the performance of their CEO. Senior staff also should be similarly appraised and comprise part of a CEO succession strategy,” Mr Moriarty said.

“It's never be too late to conduct a review, but the need is probably immediate if you’ve already got disgruntled staff, or you’re unhappy about the way things are going yourself.

“It’s just another reason that our motto at ICDA remains ‘trust and validate’. We need to trust people are doing the right thing, but ensure we’re also validating those things through regular performance reviews.”

“As for the findings related to sport and recreation, and concerns about workload, I often reflect that when I played footy we had one coach, but in the modern era that’s not sustainable because there’s too much to do.

“Despite this, we often have the same sort of structural issues, with sporting club board members both governing and delivering services. There needs to be more working groups and subcommittees to support the board (just like backs, mids and forward coaches).

“This study highlights the fact that it’s time for many community organisations – and not just those in the sport and recreation field – to rethink that model.”

The Spotlight Report series analyses the views of nearly 1900 not-for-profit leaders who responded to our national Not-for-profit Governance Survey 2019. The resulting studies are a product of the Innovation Lab, with past Spotlight reports addressing the role of the chair, and not-for-profit impact and data.

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