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What is a Board Management Maturity Model?

A model of maturity for the board is a tool that helps examine how your board of directors manages itself. Its aim is to assist the board members improve their performance and make the company more efficient. The process usually involves the self-administration of a questionnaire and then a discussion with consultants to analyze the results. The majority of models employ three to five levels to evaluate the different aspects of the board’s performance. The first level is characterized by impromptu procedures that do not have formal standards or alignment, while the third and the second levels are more defined and incorporated processes.

The most important aspect of any maturity model is how it prioritizes your board’s education. Knowing the current level of maturity of your board helps you determine what skills you’ll need learn next. Some models provide generalized estimates on how long it will take to get up one level (e.g. “a level change is approximately six months and a reduction of 25% in productivity”).

Most boards start at bottom of maturity scale. They are the least compliance-oriented ones who understand their responsibilities and the risks they face. They are not willing to invest more than the minimum amount of time and money into governance as it diverts attention from their “real jobs” of managing.

These are the ones who need to be forced to accept that governing is a distinct and very different job from executive management, which requires training and assessment, as well as funds to match. It is a risky activity that tests your knowledge, imagination and willingness to take calculated risks in the complex and interconnected external world of politics, physical environment economics, social and technological advances and demographic trends.



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