'Board versus Executive Team' Tensions: A Case Study

Our 4 steps to success


1) Identify the Scenario

The working function between the Board and Executive team had broken down into an unhealthy operating environment. The organisation was operating without a strategy and had repeatedly failed to have any plans approved by the Board.

There were disagreements as to who was responsible for the development of a strategy. There was major governance and risk associated with this breakdown of the relationship.


2) Gap Analysis and Research

There were no clear guidelines where Board oversight leaves off and executive management begins. During our research we identified the following issues, which were creating unnecessary tensions:

  • Lack of detailed information and clarity around governance and management
  • Executives not clear about the Board role and boundaries
  • Change process underway from community based management to professional management
  • Board members practice did not support their oversight work
  • Differing priorities between Board and Executive
  • Incompatible assumptions and styles between Board and Executive
  • Collaboration was non-existent
  • Lack of direction
  • Personality clashes


3) Applied Solutions

We applied a comprehensive solution for strategy development, ownership and implementation, which included:

  • A Work of Leaders survey with Board members and developed a debrief and coaching solution.
  • A Board and Executive workshop to identify the framework for strategy development
  • A detailed market analysis of the industry
  • A financial audit of the business
  • A Board and Executive workshop with two alternate strategic options for the organisation for ongoing ownership
  • Development of the preferred strategy, which was approved by the Board
  • Financial modelling, which was signed off by the Board
  • A range of implementation plans based on the agreed horizons of the strategy
  • Detailed business and marketing plans
  • Clear reporting guidelines and reporting process for the strategy


4) A Strong Result, A New Direction

We delivered a strategic direction, which was approved by the board with supporting business plan and marketing plan. We introduced a strategic management framework to engage the organisation in to deliver the projects required to enter phase one of the strategic direction.

We worked through the organisational design identifying the gaps within a number of departmental processes, effecting an additional $1.5 mil in additional sales revenue in a 2 month period. We assisted the leadership team identify new product lines with supporting business cases.



“The journey that Navig8 have taken RGCRT through has allowed our company to have a clear vision, strong strategic direction and achieve our underlying objectives.

Navig8 has immersed themselves within the company, which has allowed us to ensure the quality of products we deliver.

We look forward to continuing this working relationship as we have strong goals in place to reach our Horizon One obligations.”

- Fiona Heslop, RGCRT


Final Reflections

The cost of having a board far exceeds this visible cost. Senior executives spend a considerable amount of their time preparing information for the board, writing agendas, papers and minutes, tracking down information, managing “housekeeping” (conflict of interest and consent to act statements, directors shareholding notices, the logistics of board travel and meetings, etc.), and interacting with directors in committee, board or one-on-one meetings.

The cost of that time and other intangibles is rarely tracked and few boards are aware of their total cost.

Board selection has a cost to your business

  • 30% - CEO time spent supporting board members
  • 52% - Executives do not see a strong ROI on the support provided
  • 50% - Executive time is spent on board interactions when embarking on change

Contact Us

Are you wanting to resolve conflict between the Board and the Executive? Navig8 can help. Please contact us here or contact one of our consultants directly.


Michael Morgan - Director and Founder

+61 2 9233 8878





Louise Eiseman - Director

+61 2 9233 8878



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