The Role of the Executive Committee

A board chair asked me this week if it would be appropriate to invite a value-adding non- Executive Committee board member to regularly attend meetings of the Executive Committee. My response was framed around the purpose of an Executive Committee of the board. A governance best practice is to give the Executive Committee a very limited role. It is important that the experience and wisdom of all board members is considered in making all substantial issues. If there are issues that bear input beyond the executive committee they are likely best addressed by the full board.
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The Board at the Helm

By talking with organizational leaders and leading board development workshops, I have learned that the majority of boards don’t fulfill their legal responsibilities. Organizations that are officially incorporated under a federal or state/provincial act must have a board of directors that is the senior decision-making body. The board has the authority and responsibility to carry on business between annual or general meetings of the shareholders or members. In the organizational chart, the senior staff officer is beneath the board and reports to the board. Beneath the senior staff officer are the division vice-presidents or the department heads. The PDF article “The Why and How of Great Governance” focuses on ways that healthy organizations align their day-to-day behavior with their official structure.
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The Auditor’s Report

A very important part of the annual financial report is the auditor’s report. Whenever the board asks an external licenced accountant to audit or review its financial position, the finance professional will provide a written report on her findings. This auditor’s report becomes the cover letter or first page of the organization’s year end financial report.
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