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In the Words of Experts: Find the Gaps

We asked experts how they leveraged board matrices to shape better boards.


The Board Skills Matrix is a critical component of understanding knowledge and experience gaps the board may have in support of the company’s strategy. To get the most out of a matrix, you need to first overcome the challenge that comes with any self-assessment. Some directors will over- or under-evaluate themselves. Ideas to make the process more consistent include: conducting 1:1 interviews to objectively assess skill level, providing examples of ratings, and offering general guidance on how to really differentiate strengths.

Headshot of Mari Baker

Mari Baker

Co-founder Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab | Board Member, Blue Shield of California, GoShip, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 


I’ve served on a board where each board member was asked to individually review the board matrix and suggest any further skills, experiences, and demographics that would address our needs as a board. We then shared the matrix with key senior executives and invited them to identify their additional business needs. The end result was a comprehensive, strategic board matrix that helped us bring in new board members with skills, perspectives, and ideas to fill in gaps and strengthen the board overall.

Headshot of Adriane Brown

Adriane Brown

Managing Partner, Flying Fish Ventures | Board Member, American Airlines Group Inc., Axon Enterprise, Inc., eBay Inc., KKR & Co., Inc