Leader to Leader: Self-Assessments

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Feb 1, 2014

How does your board conduct self-assessments? These board members share their secrets.

“On a regular basis, we typically set scorecard goals to assess the state of key strategies and objectives.” —April Rimpley


Sandi Bramblett

President, Association for Institutional Research, Tallahassee, Florida

AIR bylaws require that the board monitor and evaluate each board policy at least annually. Each month, we review one of 11 governance process policies. We reflect on the board’s performance over the last year, discuss how we adhered to the policy, and identify areas where there might be room for improvement. This ensures that each governance process policy is reviewed annually and each board member is reminded of their own responsibilities within the governance of our organization.


Robert D. Boyle

Board Chair, APICS: The Association for Operations Management, Chicago

We conduct self-assessments in two ways. After each board meeting, board members are sent a survey on a variety of topics, from the strategic significance of the most recent agenda to the quality of the presenters. The results are discussed at the beginning of the next board meeting. Also, throughout the year, each board member gets the opportunity to anonymously rate the performance of other board members. This process was uncomfortable for some at first, but I feel I have received some valuable feedback from it over the past year.


April Rimpley

Board Chair, National Dental Electronic Data Interchange Council, Scottsdale, Arizona

On a regular basis, we typically set scorecard goals to assess the state of key strategies and objectives. Our measurement in the scorecard, as well as feedback on our member needs survey, serve to ensure we are optimizing talent. Periodically, we bring in outside resources during planning sessions to assess our leadership, trends in the industry, and key drivers for future success.


Phyllis Kupsick

President, Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society, Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

On an annual basis, the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society obtains feedback from its members and stakeholders in an effort to continually improve our programs and services. In the same vein, we survey board members to gauge their understanding on topics ranging from the organization’s mission and strategic direction to the structure of board conference calls and effectiveness of communication. This has helped the organization operate more efficiently, with a continual focus on the strategic direction of the organization.

(Illustrations by Monica Hellstrom)

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