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One thing I’ve noticed with board meetings over some 30 years of attendance is that far too many of them spend almost all the time on past results. We drive a car by looking primarily through the windscreen at the road ahead, not the rear-view mirror, so why don’t we ‘drive’ our business in the same way?

Given that the board’s role is responsibility for the business, should it not spend the vast majority of its time looking ahead?

Certainly, when driving a car, you keep an eye on the rear-view mirror to see what’s coming up behind you, and look to the sides, too – you need to manage risk and avoid accidents, after all – but the vast majority of the time is watching the road ahead and anticipating what will happen next, adjusting your speed, etc., to manage this.

In the same way, when ‘driving’ a business, the board and its executive should be looking ahead, anticipating conditions that it can see, while being alert to possible problems from behind and the side, and reacting accordingly.

Board meetings should spend no more than 20% of their time looking at past results, and then with the primary aim of determining how to avoid any negative issues arising again while being able to repeat positive ones. The primary discussions should be around risk management and strategy development, with the other items on the annual board calendar being looked at as appropriate for the particular meeting.

There’s a reason the windscreen is so much bigger than the rear-view mirror – the road ahead is where your main attention is needed.

Follow this approach for board meetings and see how your business improves – just as with any well governed company – and if you’re not already doing so, start the new year with a revitalised board meeting agenda.


If you’d like more information on board calendars, just send me this message and I’ll happily send you one.


#BusinessFitness  #Boards #2022 #NewYear #CEO #NED #Planning #Profitability #Risk #Resilience #Strategy #Valuations


Some of my other short posts on board matters include:

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