Improving employee engagement: actionable tips from client success

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Go deeper with board workshops

Workshops are a great way for boards to go deeper on key issues, align its priorities & talk about their opportunities & challenges in a less formal environment.

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Great benefits from board workshops

Board workshops are a great way for boards to go deeper on key issues, break down barriers, align the board on its priorities and talk about their big opportunities and challenges in a less formal and structured environment.

In our experience many boards come away extremely disappointed with their board strategy days and board workshops because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • the desired outcomes of their time together weren’t sufficiently explicit, or if they were some or all of the directors had a different view as to the desired outcomes that needed to be achieved
  • they tried to do too much in the workshop and ended up not doing anything particularly well
  • the board didn’t spend sufficient time prior to the workshop discussing what they wanted to achieve and largely left it to management to organise their time and set their agenda
  • their facilitator wasn’t sufficiently experienced to guide the discussion or intervene at important points during the workshop.

Because the time spent by directors together is so valuable, it is worth putting in a significant investment in time and effort to ensure your Board Workshop is well planned. Often the Chair or a Committee Chair and one or two others directors will work with an executive or and/or an external facilitator to ensure all the appropriate planning takes place. In our experience good preparation makes all the difference.

Board and Governance

Designing your next board workshop

No two board workshops are the same. Each should be designed form the ground up to achieve the board’s agreed outcomes and objectives. Taking the time to consider how new and innovative workshop and group facilitation techniques can be used to engage workshop participants normally pays big dividends.

We also often recommend that directors, and any executives who will be invited to the workshop, be asked to do some “homework” prior to attending the workshop. We often use polls, surveys and/or questionnaires prior to a workshop. We then provide the results (on an anonymous basis) to attendees prior to the workshop which helps focus the workshop conversations and to make them more productive. 

Insync has designed a short 20 survey item Pre-Board Strategy Day Survey to be carried out during the planning phase for a Board Strategy Day. Completion of the survey by the proposed attendees will help the board and ELT prepare well for the strategy day and help ensure that the many pitfalls of Board Strategy Days are avoided.  

Insync has designed and facilitated board workshops that have gone for between two hours and two days and have covered the following topics:

  • Facilitating a strategy workshop 
  • Discussion and agreement to an improvement plan arising from a board evaluation
  • Turning a long list of board priorities into a short list and aligning the board around those priorities
  • Sharing insights and individual action plans arising from a Director Effectiveness Review and agreeing how sustained change will be embedded
  • Designing and populating a director’s competency matrix and agreeing to the competencies and attributes required of future directors
  • Discussion and agreement to a turnaround plan for the organisation
  • Aligning the board around the current state, desired future state and a high level plan to improve the maturity and sophistication of the organisation’s risk management and compliance 

Insync also conducts similar workshops for executive leadership teams, Board Skills Matrix, board effectiveness reviews and a plethora of other areas to enhance corporate structure, compliance and ultimately productivity and wellbeing.

What our clients say

Click here for more client testimonials.

Insync Testimonial
​The survey and benchmarked report were invaluable to identify and prioritise our strengths and development areas. The board workshop supplemented the report by providing compelling insights and discussions to help our board on our continuous improvement journey.
David Stevenson

Chair
Dental Health Services Victoria

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