Strategy and the board

By Lancashire Business View

16 Oct 2018

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In previous articles I have considered strategy of an organisation. This final article brings this to a conclusion by considering the role of the board in strategy.

By Mark Heaton, KM Business Solutions.

Indicators of good practice of a board, according to the Institute of Directors, are: Establishing vision, mission and values, setting strategy and structure, delegating to management and responsibilities to stakeholders.

The development of strategy and structure is part of the decision making role of being a director. The conflict for the board though is avoiding getting too involved in operational and short term decisions.

Responsibility for the effectiveness of the strategic process of a company or organisation is that of the board, and needs to be owned by it, commitment given to it and driven by it.

There will always be tensions when a strategic plan is being drawn up – some board members will be more or less enthusiastic than others.

The culture of a business may seek to hinder fresh thinking but if a board is clear on what it wants out of the process, is united, and encourages staff to get behind it there is more probability of success.

At all times though, there has to be review and if necessary strategy changed accordingly especially when change can come upon you rapidly.

The board also needs to define the purpose of the company clearly – there are many stakeholders (and some of these are set out in the duties of a director in the Companies Act 2006) of a company whose needs are to be balanced with those of others.

It should give sufficient resources to the strategy (if not then the commitment from the board will be questioned). Mark Heaton is managing director of KM Business Solutions Ltd, Chartered Accountants, and is holder of the Certificate in Company Direction awarded by the Institute of Directors.

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