Board Benchmarking disrupts the board survey sector

Board Benchmarking disrupts the board evaluation and board survey sector

Board Benchmarking disrupts the board evaluation and board survey sector

The recent root and branch review of one of the most prestigious boards in Australia, the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia), was long overdue and revealed surprising findings but it doesn’t stop there. Many boards across Australia and the world are reluctant to open themselves to an external review. 

There are many reasons why boards drag their feet when it comes to conducting external reviews of their own governance, performance and effectiveness. One contributing factor may be that the board review sector is shrouded in secrecy and high costs. But Board Benchmarking has changed all that.  

Board Benchmarking has simplified the board review process and made it much more cost-effective and efficient. It has also been totally transparent with its prices which its competitors continue to refuse to do. Here is how Board Benchmarking is continuing to revolutionise board reviews: 

1. You can buy online

Boards can design their own review by choosing either a Premium or an SME/Lite Board Effectiveness Survey, receive a related benchmarked Board Effectiveness Report and add up to seven optional extras including:

  • Sending the survey to executives and receiving extra reporting in the benchmarked Board Effectiveness Report 
  • Adding a Committee Effectiveness Module for a light touch review of each of the board’s committees. A Committee Effectiveness Scorecard is provided for each committee 
  • Adding a Director Effectiveness Module for a light touch review of the effectiveness of each director. A Director Effectiveness Scorecard is provided for each director 
  • Four video interviews including of the Chair, CEO and two other directors for around 45 minutes 
  • Analysis of the benchmarked Board Effectiveness Report and the provision of an Executive Summary – whether the interviews have been included or not 
  • Video debrief of the Chair on how to interpret and act on the report for around one hour including answering any questions 
  • Video debrief of the board on how to interpret and act on the report for around one hour including answering any questions

Larger clients who want a more detailed or bespoke review can request Board Benchmarking or one of its many Board Advisory Partners to provide a proposal and quote accordingly. Most bespoke reviews include many of the options set out above and often add interviews of all directors, and several executives plus the preparation of a detailed expert report.

2. Transparent and reduced pricing

Unlike most, if not all, of its competitors who hide their pricing, Board Benchmarking has made its prices transparent for all to see.

Those prices have been reduced significantly and in some cases are around one quarter that of its best-known competitor even though Board Benchmarking delivers a superior survey and benchmarked report.

3. Transparent best practice framework

Board Benchmarking is proud of its world-recognised WhatWhoHowDo framework. It is also proud to have determined the 20 areas of a board’s effectiveness that research has shown are the most important in measuring and improving a board’s effectiveness. 

Many of Board Benchmarking’s competitors, including its best-known competitor, don’t make their survey framework transparent for all to see. Why would they want to keep their board survey framework secret? 

4. FREE shortened version of the survey

Board Benchmarking allows you to try before you buy.

Board Benchmarking has developed a shortened version of its survey that can be completed by individual directors, executives, company secretaries and the like. Once completed the respondent is sent a link to a benchmarked Board Effectiveness Report based on their survey responses.

5. Special version for NFPs and small organisations

Board Benchmarking has partnered with its sister division, Board Surveys, to support the tens of thousands of small organisations and not-for-profits who would like a shortened, fit-for-purpose benchmarked board survey but can’t afford it.

Board Surveys offers two board surveys with its prices also transparent and starting at only A$1,450. Board Surveys uses a self-managed system that helps keep its surveys accessible and enables an extra fast turnaround.

6. No lock-in contracts

Many of Board Benchmarking’s competitors have opted to use a subscription model and lock-in contracts to underwrite their ongoing revenue. This is the case even if their clients try and then decide they don’t want to continue with their service.

Board Benchmarking has opted to provide its clients with world-class products and services at the most transparent, accessible and affordable pricing – without locking clients into commitments that may not suit them.

7. Deep industry and expanding country benchmarks

Because Board Benchmarking is growing so fast the depth of its benchmarks in each industry and across new countries is growing equally fast. Board Benchmarking will soon have in excess of 500 boards in its database.

Board Benchmarking has good benchmarks in Africa (Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe) Australia, Mauritius, Malaysia, New Zealand and the UK. Board surveys have also been done for boards in the United States and for a bank in El Salvador in Spanish.

8. Global client and support network

Board Benchmarking is growing a best-of-breed global Board Advisory Partner network to support clients with the use of its survey and related services across the globe.  

Board Advisory Partners have been established in Africa, Australia, Mauritius, Malaysia, the Middle East, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Partners are being sought and will be established in all the other main regions of the world. Clients are supported by the Advisory Partner in their closest region. 

9. Beyond board reviews

Board Benchmarking also provides boards with other surveys and advice that are important for an organisation’s success. Those surveys are supported by expert advice from a local Board Advisory Partner and include:

  • 2 Director Effectiveness Surveys
  • A CEO Effectiveness Survey as well as a CEO Attributes Ranking Survey
  • 2 Leadership Team Effectiveness Surveys
  • A new Strategy Effectiveness Survey
  • 3 ESG Surveys

Free versions of the last two mentioned surveys are currently available for individuals. 

Our research and white papers continue to contribute to enhanced board reviews and soon we will be launching a Board Skills Matrix Survey. 

Boards would do well to take note to ensure, like the RBA, that their governance practices are not compromised. Just as employees are subjected to annual job performance reviews, boards also need to do so because better boards mean better organisations.  

About Nicholas Barnett: is the Executive Chairman and a co-founder of Board Benchmarking andInsync, a former chairman of Ansvar Insurance, First Samuel and Ambit Group, a former director of Mission Australia and a former partner of KPMG Australia. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). 

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