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Board directors are often worried about how to engage in strategic planning without micromanaging the CEO or outsmarting their role. There has been a move away from three to five year time horizons and long planning processes to strategic frameworks that define the organization’s priorities and business plans that mix operational and programmatic goals, financial forecasts and robust annual plans that include clear metrics and timelines.

However, a board that is focused on its oversight responsibilities must to be involved in the formulation of strategies, comprehending the strategic activities that are taking place, recognizing that there will always be specific situations that require substantial attention from the Board and devising an effective monitoring plan for the strategy. This article discusses methods for accomplishing all of this while allowing the Board to participate in strategic discussions and be productive to these discussions.

Our post on facilitating the board’s strategic planning session is among the most read articles on this website. This discussion addresses an issue that is raised repeatedly in this space and that is how the board should determine the distinction between managing corporate strategy and implementing its own strategy. This is a crucial debate in that if the Board believes that its role is to stamp any plan put forward to it, it’s at risk of becoming an “rubber stamp” board. To avoid this, it’s recommended to have an upfront conversation between the board and management regarding the strategic issues that they think are most critical. This will enable the board to assist in framing these issues and also for management to be open to suggestions from the board that hones site web and refine the problem framing.