Board Consulting

How satisfied are you with the performance of your Supervisory Board?


Supervisory board members are typically particularly successful personalities who are at the head of large organizations and whose qualifications cannot be reasonably doubted. Nevertheless, their performance as a group usually remains far below the sum of their individual potential.


Performance as a group does not automatically equal the sum of all individual potentials.

Board Consulting

How can the quality of Supervisory Board work be improved?

Today, supervisory boards are challenged more than ever, and yet the performance of most supervisory boards remains far below their potential.


Based on a comprehensive study on the practice of corporate supervision in Germany, Florian Schilling, then Vice Chairman and Head of the International Board Practice of Heidrick & Struggles, developed a concept more than 20 years ago to capture these individual potentials and to identify the factors in the work of boards that prevent more effective corporate supervision. As a pioneer in supervisory board consulting, he conducted the first board review in Europe in 2002. Since then, he has had the opportunity to evaluate around half of the DAX 30 supervisory boards as well as large companies in other European countries and to show them concrete ways for improvement of their work.

In the process developed by him, all essential elements that determine the quality of corporate supervision are recorded in confidential individual discussions with the members of the Supervisory Board and Management Board, benchmarking with other supervisory bodies is carried out and concrete recommendations for improving work are formulated.


This approach differs fundamentally from the frequently conducted efficiency audits using questionnaires. Written surveys can provide interesting indications of structural deficits in corporate supervision, but they do not provide any indication of role understanding and the nature of interaction in the boards.

It is primarily these informal elements that shape the quality of corporate supervision much more than the formal factors, but they can only be recorded and subsequently improved in confidential individual discussions.


Virtually all supervisory bodies face similar challenges but deal with them very differently. Over the past 20 years, we have systematically recorded “best practice” examples of corporate supervision and checked for their transferability to other supervisory bodies.

The reactions to such efficiency reviews have been extremely positive: more than 90% of all Supervisory Board members surveyed believe that the stocktaking and the recommendations derived from it have significantly improved the work of the Board and advocate a regular repetition of the process.