Independent External Board Evaluations Service
Both research and empirical evidence suggest that an effective board creates value. It is more likely to make the high-quality decisions which will help the organisation achieve its objectives, manage its risks, and safeguard its reputation. Effective boards – and successful organisations – build trust and confidence among funders, investors, employees, customers and all those who have a stake in the company’s on-going success.
Independent external board evaluations were first recommended by the UK Corporate Governance Code in 2010 as a mechanism for assessing board effectiveness more rigorously than the practice of internal board evaluations recommended up to that point. Since then, they have become increasingly accepted – in all sectors and, increasingly, around the world – as a powerful means by which a board can assess its performance, and establish whether it is operating to high standards of governance.
Current good practice suggests that a board should conduct an independent, externally-facilitated evaluation once every three years. An independent, external evaluation overcomes the challenge often faced by internal reviews of being constrained by organisational politics, and a lack of perspective of how other boards work. A good external facilitator will be able to challenge and reassure, identify areas of strengths and areas for development, bring wider experience to bear on what a good board looks like, and provide recommendations for strengthening the performance of the board.
This thinking has led to independent, external board evaluations becoming one of the most important innovations in governance thinking and practice in the last ten years.
Although the practice of independent, external evaluations was first introduced into the corporate sector, the practice has become increasingly embraced by the public, third and not-for-profit sectors, where the need to optimise board performance is just as relevant and business-critical. Accordingly, this offering is aimed at all such bodies.
All work is conducted on a confidential and non-attributable basis.
Tailored to requirements
Price on application
St James’s Park, London or In-House
Seamus Gillen started his career in local government, before moving to Whitehall. His successful Whitehall career culminated in him becoming the Private Secretary to John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister.Read Bio
Seamus started his career in local government, before moving to Whitehall as a civil servant, becoming Private Secretary to John Gummer MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, and then Private Secretary to John Prescott MP, Deputy Prime Minister.
He moved into industry, as the Group Company Secretary and Director of Regulation at Anglian Water (later AWG) plc, and then as Head of Public Policy and Regulation at O2 plc (now part of the Telefonica Group).
He became Policy Director at the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), where he authored a number of influential publications, including ICSA’s guidance on 'Boardroom Behaviours', and the UK Financial Reporting Council's ‘Guidance on Boardroom Effectiveness’, He also created ICSA’s successful annual Awards dinner. He was responsible for the production of ICSA’s technical output, including its best practice Guidance Notes on boards and directors.
Seamus runs his own governance advisory business – Value Alpha Limited – working with boards and directors around the world. His particular focus is on board and director effectiveness. He runs a Leadership Development Programme for company secretaries, and a fortnightly LinkedIn discussion group on governance, called Building Better Boards.
Seamus writes and speaks extensively on governance issues. He holds a Degree in Business Studies, and is an MBA and an ICSA Fellow.
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