Building effective boards

An effective board is the fulcrum of good governance. Effective boards are what The Code for Sports Governance is striving for – from the basic principles to requirements at Tiers 1 through 3. This section illustrates how the Code can help you build an effective board and in turn, a more effective organisation that serves its community offers quality sports programs, develops athletic talent and enjoyment through sport.

This section also draws on resources that demonstrate how to strengthen your organisation and board, evaluate its effectiveness and develop the capacity of your employees and volunteers. Building an effective board or improving the effectiveness of your board takes time and collaboration. Effective boards are ones where continuous improvement in capacity, process and evaluation are at the core of board values and function.

To be effective, your board needs the right people, skills and knowledge, and cooperation towards the organisation’s mission and vision. In this section, we explore these two broad elements:

(1) board effectiveness in terms of size and capacities

(2) evaluating effectiveness and continuous improvement

This idea of always evaluating and changing may sound daunting, but it isn’t. It means you don’t have to do everything at once; you should take your time in these processes, have a good discussion around the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation and its board, and build evaluation mechanisms that will enhance your operations. While this notion of effectiveness may take some time to put in place, it is well worth doing and can serve as a great motivator for staff, volunteers and serves to enhance the public image of your sports organisation. Most importantly, it will improve organisational performance.

Board effectiveness – size and capacity

A discussion on the appropriate size for effective boards and the concept of capacity

Board members’ capacity

A look at board capacity, how to build it and the importance of diversity

Dynamics of the board

Guidance on decision making at board level, including considerations of culture and strategic leadership

Evaluating effectiveness

How best to evaluate the effectiveness of your board

Related tools

Useful tools to help you build effective boards for your sports organisation