Gartner Research

Working With the Board of Directors

Published: 01 July 2006

ID: G00142364

Analyst(s): Chuck Tucker, Tina Nunno


Every interaction with the board is an opportunity for CIOs to demonstrate that they are business leaders—or reveal that they are not. As board interest in IT increases, CIOs must sharpen their skills to interact effectively with this important body. Few directors have significant IT experience, so the CIO must make IT results relevant to them. Investing in preparations for board interactions is time well spent. Focus on understanding each director and his or her expectations regarding the enterprise’s use of IT. Also understand the board’s agenda and best practices for board presentations. Board meetings are short performances with high-stakes outcomes for every member of the executive leadership team. CIOs can perform well by communicating effectively during the meeting and seamlessly coordinating with the other members of the leadership team. Over time, CIOs can increase their influence with the board.

Table Of Contents


Executive summary

  • Build board-level acumen
  • Prepare extensively for each board interaction
  • Excel in each board meeting
  • Increase your influence with the board over time

Build board-level acumen

  • The board represents stakeholders
  • Few boards have extensive IT expertise
  • Demonstrate results and business savvy to gain access
  • Develop and present board-relevant content
  • See the world from a director's perspective

Prepare extensively for each board interaction

  • Learn what the board expects of you—and IT
  • Study individual directors and key influencers
  • Understand the board agenda
  • Prepare your board presentation materials

Excel in each board meeting

  • "Socialize" your key messages
  • Communicate effectively during each board meeting
  • Measure your outcomes
  • Collect meaningful feedback

Increase your influence with the board over time

  • Know your starting point in the board relationship
  • Grow your IT contribution to change your board relationship and level of influence
  • Assume non-IT enterprise roles to increase your credibility as a business leader
  • Whatever your influence with the board, heed the advice of your peers

Further Reading

  • Gartner EXP reports
  • Core research
  • Other publication

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