Evaluating the Board Chair

Reprinted from Healthcare Executive JAN/FEB 2009

Creating a process for assessing leaders reinforces a commitment to governance accountability and continuous improvement.

A board committed to continuous improvement realizes that the value of assessing its performance goes beyond meeting Joint Commission or other external requirements. It knows that regular self-evaluation gives it the information needed to understand and build on its strengths and identify and minimize its weaknesses. Performance evaluation also allows the board to demonstrate its commitment to improving performance, even as it holds the CEO and the rest of the organization accountable for doing the same.

That is why during the past 20 years, board evaluation has expanded to include more than periodic full board performance assessment. Many boards now also evaluate individual member performance at least once during each member’s term and take the time to assess the quality of board and committee meetings.

These evaluation practices are moving into the governance mainstream, but evaluating the performance of board leaders, especially the board chair, has received less attention.

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