Asking questions is an important part of providing oversight.
Good governance means asking questions that are both forward looking as well as those that take account of the past. We should also think about what is happening inside the organisation as well as looking outward. These concepts are captured in the 'Tricker Model' of governance.
This gives us our first four types of questions we can ask:
- Policy Making
- Strategy Development
- Monitoring & Supervising
- Providing Accountability
In addition to these, we think it's also important to ask specific questions around your culture and capability. Research has shown that people tend to ask questions that focus on understanding evidence, options, outcomes, people, processes or risks. As a group a Board should be well placed to ask questions that cover this whole spectrum.
Here's five questions from our Online Tools - Ask database below:
- How do we balance between dealing with these clear-and-present issues and managing towards our longer term goals?
- What has worked well for others?
- What capabilities will we need in order to proceed?
- How can we best assess the risks?
- Are there any conflicts of interest that need to be raised?