By Barry S. Bader and Pamela R. Knecht
Committees are the engines that power the board’s oversight, planning and decision making functions. By focusing on one area such as finance, quality or corporate compliance, committees enable the board to fulfill its fiduciary duties over the full range of governance responsibilities more efficiently and effectively than the full board could do. Effective committees can significantly improve the board’s overall effectiveness by allowing the full board to expeditiously review and approve committee work, opening up more time at full board meetings for substantive discussion on large and future-oriented issues. The increasing size and complexity of hospitals and health systems, coupled with emerging strategic challenges, makes effective committee work more essential than ever.
Here are some of the questions that we as governance consultants hear most frequently about board committees.