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How to conduct a Board Skills Matrix

A Board Skills Matrix is a tool used to identify the Board’s composition of skills and competencies that are required and desirable to the organisation.

They can be identified into two parts – organisation specific and general Board competencies. General Board competencies are skills that would generally be desirable across all Boards, such as Governance, Business Management, Financial Management and Human Resources.

Organisational specific competencies will be related to the industry specifics for the organisation’s objectives and goals. For example, a healthcare organisation may require skills and competencies in medicine and nursing.

Once a skills matrix has been completed for your Board, how should it be used?

A skills matrix is useful to see where skills gaps may be across the Board so organisations can plan to deal with gaps, such as buying in external expertise or adding independent members onto Board Subcommittees. It is also useful in succession planning for Boards and should be conducted prior to Board renewal and recruitment.

The outcomes of the exercise is the Board has a clear indication of the diversity and range of skills, experience and qualifications that can be drawn on and utilised by the Board to meet the governance obligations of the organisation.

It can plan for the future using a transparent process for a skills based recruitment of new board members. Scenario planning can be conducted based on tenure, reappointment plans and term expirations of current directors. The skills and competency compositions of the Board sub-committees should also be analysed.

A Board skills matrix should be updated at least bi-annually and specifically after the appointment of new Board members. It can also be included as part of the Board performance evaluation process.

Need help with conducting a Board skills matrix? Sadhana Consulting offers this as an external service along with templates that can be purchased in store. Contact us to get more details.

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