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The Board engaged Lintstock Ltd to undertake an external evaluation of the performance of the Board. The first stage of the review involved Lintstock engaging with the Chairman and the Company Secretary to set the context for the evaluation and to tailor questionnaires to the specific circumstances of the Company. All respondents were then requested to complete an online questionnaire addressing Board, Board Committees, Chairman and Individual Performance. Interviews were then conducted with members of the Board by two partners from Lintstock to expand upon the issues raised in the questionnaires. The anonymity of all respondents was ensured throughout the process in order to promote the open and frank exchange of views. Lintstock subsequently produced a report which addressed the following areas:
Overall, the conclusions of the report were very positive but some areas for improvement were identified. These include improving the annual planning cycle; ensuring that each of the Executive Directors makes a fuller contribution to debates and taking a more systematic approach to reviewing outcomes from past decisions and progress against strategic objectives. There was strong alignment on the main challenges and opportunities facing the Group, which are reflected in the 2014 Board Objectives.