How to take the boardroom with you

Sometimes the ability to ensure Executive buy-in can be the difference between giving your team the sponsorship they need to succeed, or dooming their efforts to failure. Whilst all Executives will be used to the ‘cut & thrust’ of a normal Board meeting, they are often feel ill-at-ease by the Programme Boards of Transformations, as the one thing they’re usually not experienced in is transforming the global ways of working for their entire organisation.

A few simple rules usually help set up your Programme Boards for success...

  • Get the foundations right: Terms of Reference are a must – everyone must have a role to play and the decision making powers and rules of escalation need to be laid out early.
  • Set the benchmark for content early: Define a Board Pack structure which is simplified where possible and which has a recognisable format from one meeting to the next.
  • Help them see the wood from the trees: Where Red statuses are given, define the path back to green. Where possible indicate trending of RAGs.
  • Sensitize them to the problems early: Don’t run a content-less Board. Sensitize your stakeholders to the ongoing problems and call out the ‘ones to watch’.
  • Simple, intuitive content is key for trust: A cluttered slide or confusing message often infer confusion in the programme. Avoid hiding bad news in volumes of material.
  • Transparency is key: Where you or your team have made mistakes, concisely state it. Avoid defensive rhetoric and be quick to accept blame (if valid) and move on.
  • Provide them the benefit of experience: Always contextualise the status and problems – is this normal or common at this stage?
    Hearts & Minds: Build relationships outside of the Boardroom so you can lean on them during tough Board session.

Brian Lavery
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Brian Lavery

Brian began delivering Business Transformation Programmes enabled by SAP around twenty years ago. Well-grounded with the structure and rigour the Big 5 gives, from the outset Brian’s passion has been to ensure real business performance is delivered by the Programme (i.e. enabled by technology, not distracted by it). 

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