Professor Paul Healy from Harvard Business School has surveyed over 2,000 directors of global companies about their boards' diversity, size and composition, internal dynamics, internal governance, and effectiveness.
He says an effective board should be seen as a team of people, rather than an exclusive club, with a varied skill set and not too many high profile members.
Also recommended is taking the time to understand the culture and tone of the whole organisation rather than just the elite, and avoiding group think.
Australia’s startup boards are predominantly recruited through the referral networks of founders and investors — most of whom are men. This lack of diversity and formal recruitment processes could be holding back emerging businesses, according to a report from KPMG.