A recent article appearing in the Leader to Leader Institute quarterly journal entitled Aligning Boards and Management on Strategy by Ram Charan provides good advice on how to engage board and management in an in-depth discussion of strategy. According to the author, “Boards need to understand strategy, but it's not their job to create it. …The board's real value comes by helping management test whether the strategy is grounded in reality. They do that by insisting that management answer fundamental questions. …The value is in raising strategic issues, especially those that are uncomfortable. Then boards can dig even deeper.” Charan recommends a “strategy immersion session” as a way to achieve deeper board understanding and support of strategy. He also recommends that the strategy immersion session should be designed so that it is “more like a workshop than a stage show … to ensure that ample time is reserved for open discussion and informal interactions”.
The session be designed as a 1 day retreat event or as a 1-2 hour session within a regularly scheduled board meeting. The article includes suggestion on how to design such a session as well as facilitation notes. Go to: http://www.pfdf.org/leaderbooks/L2L/summer2005/charan.html