One of the hottest—and most timeless—topics in corporate governance is the quality of the board. As recent scandals indicate, whenever something goes wrong at a company, the first question is often “where was the board?” It’s important for every company to know whether it has the right board and how the board is performing. Do the directors collectively possess the right skill sets? Are the directors doing their jobs? Are they holding management’s feet to the fire, or are they acting as a rubber stamp to whatever management requests?

A board self-assessment is among the best ways to obtain answers to these and other critical governance questions. Self-assessments accomplish this goal not only for public companies, but also for family-controlled and other private companies as well as nonprofits.

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