What Is An ExCom Formation & Why Is It Important?

An executive committee is a subset of the board of directors that is composed of a smaller group of elected board members. The primary function of the executive committee is to address pressing issues that arise between regular board meetings. The executive committee convenes frequently, sometimes without prior notice, to deliberate on time-sensitive issues that have the potential to significantly impact the direction of the organization. In addition, the committee acts as an advisory panel to the board by offering counsel and suggestions on issues falling under its scope of responsibility.

Executive Committee Members vs. Board of Directors

The board of directors is responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of an organization. It sets policies, approves budgets, and monitors the organization’s performance. The executive committee, on the other hand, is a smaller subset of the board that is authorized to act on behalf of the full board on urgent matters that cannot wait until the next regular board meeting.

While the executive committee has decision-making power, it is important to note that it is still accountable to the full board of directors. The executive committee must report its actions to the full board, and the board has the authority to overrule any decisions made by the executive committee.

Common Executive Committee Duties

The specific duties of an executive committee may vary depending on the needs of the organization. However, there are several common duties that most executive committees perform:

Addressing Urgent Matters:

The executive committee is responsible for addressing urgent matters that arise between regular board meetings. These may include major financial decisions, personnel issues, or emergency situations.

Developing Strategic Plans:

The executive committee may be responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan. This involves setting goals, identifying strategies to achieve those goals, and monitoring progress toward achieving them.

Monitoring Performance:

The executive committee may be responsible for monitoring the performance of the organization and its leaders. This includes reviewing financial reports, analyzing data, and assessing the effectiveness of programs and services.

Hiring and Evaluating the CEO:

The executive committee may be responsible for hiring and evaluating the CEO or executive director of the organization. This involves setting performance goals, conducting performance evaluations, and providing feedback and support.

When A Board of Directors Needs An Executive Committee

Not all boards of directors need an executive committee. Smaller organizations with fewer urgent matters may be able to address issues at regular board meetings. However, for larger organizations with more complex issues, an executive committee can be a valuable asset.

Organizations that operate in fast-paced environments or have high-stakes decisions to make may also benefit from an executive committee. The executive committee can act quickly to address urgent matters and make informed decisions that keep the organization on track.

How LOGIC Can Help You Build and Choose Impactful Executive Committee Members

One common scenario in which a board may need executive committee members is when the organization is undergoing significant change, such as a merger or acquisition. In these situations, decisions often need to be made quickly, and a smaller group of leaders can act with more agility than a large board.

Another circumstance that may necessitate an executive committee is if the organization operates in multiple locations, making it difficult for all board members to convene in person regularly. In this case, the executive committee can act as a stand-in for the full board when time is of the essence.

Executive Members Are Selected Based on What?

Executive committee members are typically chosen based on their expertise, experience, and leadership qualities. They should be individuals who can make informed decisions quickly and who have a deep understanding of the organization’s mission and goals.

In some cases, the CEO or executive director of the organization may also serve as a member of the executive committee. This can be beneficial, as it ensures that the committee is closely aligned with the strategic vision of the organization and can act quickly on behalf of the full board.