The Transformus Shadow  Board is a non-governing advisory committee who make recommendation to your Board prior to the official Board meeting. The purpose of a Shadow Board is to bring a new perspective to an experienced and established Board while providing an opportunity for future leaders to experience Board operations.

The ideal format is based on the organisational board requirements. The shadow board can be flexible around members, timing and regularity.

How the Shadow Board works

  1. Organisational partner briefs Transformus on the challenges and opportunities being considered by the Board.
  2. Transformus propose available Shadow Board members with diverse experience and backgrounds to provide a challenging viewpoint.
  3. Board agenda and pre-reading shared with Shadow Board.
  4. Shadow Board meet two weeks before Board to run Shadow Board meeting. Meeting chaired by Shadow Board Member with representation from at least two Senior Leaders from the business.
  5. Shadow Board send through recommendations to Board prior to Board meeting. Shadow Board representative to present summary at the start of Board meeting and to answer Q&A’s. Does not stay for Board meeting.
  6. Shadow Board have Board minutes and decisions shared with them.

Benefits of The Transformus Shadow Board

To the partner organisation:

  • Challenge the board and management with new perspectives and experience
  • Introduce another level of experience without additional governance
  • Create mentor and reverse mentoring relationships
  • Greater customer and subject matter insights without significant overheads

To Transformus members:

  • Exposure to board operations and decision making process
  • Opportunity to develop connections and learn from experienced executives
  • Contribute to the strategic success across a different industry
  • Tangible experience towards becoming a board representative

Expectations of The Transformus Shadow Board

From Transformus members:

  • Commitment to 1-4 Shadow Boards per year with at least 50% in person.
  • Commitment to thorough pre-reading and preparation for Shadow Board
  • Commitment to ensuring full engagement and participation in Shadow Board (no distraction from external factors)
  • Approval to participate from existing employer

From the partner organisation:

  • Access to Senior Leaders for Shadow Board meeting.
  • Access to meeting room facilities for Shadow Board meetings.
  • Flights, accommodation and incidental costs covered for Shadow Board engagement.
  • Appropriate lead time for pre-reading and board meeting timings.
  • Feedback given to Shadow Board post Board meeting.

From both parties:

  • Complete commercial in confidence abided by.
  • Total openness to new ideas and learning opportunities.
  • Respectful but challenging conversations.

Examples of successful Shadow Boards

We believe the Transformus concept is a new one, however, Shadow Boards are not. Some example of successful Shadow Boards include:

  • The Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis at the Australian National University facilitate a Shadow Board for the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The ten members of the Shadow Board provide recommendations to the RBA prior to each monthly decision. Read more.
  • French Hotel group, Accor, have launched the Accor Shadow Excom which is exclusively made up of 12 people aged between 25 and 35 years old. According to their CEO, no major decision will be made without consulting this group. Read more.
  • Estee Lauder have created “millennial advisory boards” to connect their senior leadership teams with the trends and mindset of their changing customer demographic. Read more.