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Board Intelligence: Directors say board packs are worsening

Board Intelligence research has indicated that directors are saying board packs are worsening and have assessed why and how to fix it.

The research points to board packs becoming less helpful each year and not only have reports gotten longer over the past five years, the level of insight they bring has drastically declined as well.

The findings come from over 1,000 directors, C-suite executives, and governance professionals who have used the board reporting assessment Board Intelligence have co-designed with the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland.

The research key findings include:

  • Only 28% of directors and governance professionals get value from board papers.
  • 66% must dig to find the key messages within their reports.
  • The average board pack is now 213-pages-long (up 22% in three years).
  • Bucking the trend of poorly written board packs requires new tools.

It is hard to overstate how much the world of work has been transformed in the past few years — and yet how little board packs have changed for the better over the same period, according to the latest data.

In 2018, Board Intelligence launched a joint effort with the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland to help organisations score their board packs. Since the board pack contains a company’s most confidential information, objectively benchmarking it against peers is inherently difficult, so the goal was to lift the lid and help boards, governance professionals, and management teams understand how they fared.

In 2020, over half of respondents got value from their board papers (52%). In 2022, only a quarter still do (28%), whilst nearly a third find their papers to be a hindrance (30%). In other words: for the first time since the launch of the research, more board members and governance professionals get negative value from their board papers than positive value.

Overall, 80% of board members and governance professionals now score their board packs as “Weak” or “Poor” (up 10% since 2019).

To make matters worse, the board members and governance professionals who believe that their management team spend enough time writing their board papers are not even in the majority anymore — despite board packs increasing in length overall.

To read more of the findings please click on this link.





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