Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask

Overview

"This book is a most important contribution for both new and experienced directors, addressing contemporary corporate governance. The 14 practical questions represent the most vital issues that boards need to proactively address and are particularly crucial now as boards deal with the aftermath of the global financial tsunami."
Thomas J. Neff, chairman, U.S., Spencer Stuart

"If Corporate America's board members had answered these questions, the crisis of '08 would have been avoided. The book is that powerful. It...

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Overview

"This book is a most important contribution for both new and experienced directors, addressing contemporary corporate governance. The 14 practical questions represent the most vital issues that boards need to proactively address and are particularly crucial now as boards deal with the aftermath of the global financial tsunami."
Thomas J. Neff, chairman, U.S., Spencer Stuart

"If Corporate America's board members had answered these questions, the crisis of '08 would have been avoided. The book is that powerful. It should be required reading in every boardroom, executive suite, and business school on the planet. This book with its singular wisdom could change the face of corporate governance—with huge dividends to shareholders and society."
Ralph Whitworth, principal, Relational Investors LLC

"Ram Charan always seems to get it right. Owning Up not only asks the right questions, it gives answers that can make a real difference for improving board performance."
James M. Kilts, former chairman and CEO, The Gillette Company

"As always, well-reasoned, insightful, and thought-provoking. A work that every director will find of value, particularly given the intense pressure of these unprecedented economic times."
Professor Charles M. Elson, director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware

"Here is the book that every corporate director needs today. With his decades of insider experience, Ram Charan brings more wisdom and insight to this subject than anyone else I know."
Geoff Colvin, Fortune editor and author, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470397671
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/13/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 247,169
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ram Charan is the go-to adviser for corporate directors and CEOs. Known for his insights and practical wisdom, Charan has counseled some of the world's most successful business leaders. He is coauthor of the bestseller Execution and author or coauthor of 14 other books including Leaders at All Levels, Boards That Deliver, and Boards at Work. He serves on three boards and was named one of Directorship's top 100 directors. He has an MBA and a doctoral degree with corporate governance as a field of study from the Harvard Business School.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jack Krol.

What Boards Need Now.

1. Question 1. Is the Composition of the Board Right for the Challenge?

2. Question 2. How Are We Addressing the Risks that Could Put Our Company over the Cliff?

3. Question 3. Are We Prepared to Do Our Job Well When a Crisis Erupts?

4. Question 4. Are We Well Enough Prepared to Name Our Next CEO?

5. Question 5. How Well Does the Board Own the Strategy?

6. Question 6. How Can We Get the Information We Need to Govern Well?

7. Question 7. How Can Our Board Get CEO Compensation Right?

8. Question 8. Why Do We Need a Lead Director Anyway?

9. Question 9. Is Our governance committee Best of Breed?

10. Question 10. How Do We Get the Most Value out of Our Limited Time?

11. Question 11. How Can Executive Sessions Improve the Ownership Function of the Board?

12. Question 12. How Can Our Board Self-Evaluation Improve Our Functioning and Our Output?

13. Question 13. How Do We Stop from Micromanaging?

14. Question 14. How Well Prepared Are We to Work with Activist Shareholders and Their Proxies?

About the Author.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Abstract Yet Practical

    Ram Charam's Harvard Business School doctoral thesis was on Boards of Directors. For nearly four decades, he has continued to expand and to deepen in this area of expertise. He works with boards on board self-evaluations, CEO evaluations, and director succession planning. Charan also serves on the Board of at least one major public company.
    Former CEO of DuPont Jack Krol describes this book as both practical and wise.
    My own sense is that people will have one of two reactions to this book: (1) concise, focused, and on target and (2) vague and idealistic. For example, Charam states that "the role of the board has changed forever. 'Governance' now means leadership, not just over-the-shoulder monitoring and passive approvals." If you think that is an easy concept, then you have not been doing a lot of board work recently!
    Charam raises a number of thoughtful questions. Question #1 "is our board composition right for the challenge?" And his response is that in too many instances, the answer is "no." Boards tend to over focus on functional/industry expertise and systematically overlook over factors. Charam provides a useful Director Skill Matrix for the benefit of the Nominating & Governance Committee.
    We think people who lack significant board experience will find this book abstract and preachy. Those with board experience who also find the book abstract and preachy are probably the same board members who waste too much time talking about how great things used to be before Sarbanes-Oxley. Those with significant board experience and who are thinking about the future will find this book provocative and challenging.

    ###
    Larry Stybel & Maryanne Peabody
    Board Options, Inc.
    www.boardoptions.com
    Tel. 617 594 7627
    "Specialists to Nominating & Governance Committees on Board Talent"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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