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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.
Posted September 5, 2009
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.
Tel. 617 594 7627
"Specialists to Nominating & Governance Committees on Board Talent"
Posted January 15, 2010
No text was provided for this review.