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

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

by Ram Charan


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

"This book is a most important contribution for both new andexperienced directors, addressing contemporary corporategovernance. The 14 practical questions represent the most vitalissues that boards need to proactively address and are particularlycrucial now as boards deal with the aftermath of the globalfinancial tsunami."
Thomas J. Neff, chairman, U.S., Spencer Stuart

"If Corporate America's board members had answered thesequestions, the crisis of '08 would have been avoided. The book isthat powerful. It should be required reading in every boardroom,executive suite, and business school on the planet. This book withits singular wisdom could change the face of corporategovernance—with huge dividends to shareholders andsociety."
Ralph Whitworth, principal, Relational InvestorsLLC

"Ram Charan always seems to get it right. Owning Up notonly asks the right questions, it gives answers that can make areal difference for improving board performance."
James M. Kilts, former chairman and CEO, The GilletteCompany

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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470397671
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/13/2009
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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 vii

What Boards Need Now ix

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

2. Question 2. Are We Addressing the Risks That Could Send Our Company over the Cliff? 19

3. Question 3. Are We Prepared to Do Our Job Well When a Crisis Erupts? 33

4. Question 4. Are We Well Prepared to Name Our Next CEO? 41

5. Question 5. Does Our Board Really Own the Company’s Strategy? 57

6. Question 6. How Can We Get the Information We Need to Govern Well? 73

7. Question 7. How Can Our Board Get CEO Compensation Right? 85

8. Question 8. Why Do We Need a Lead Director Anyway? 101

9. Question 9. Is Our Governance Committee Best of Breed? 117

10. Question 10. How Do We Get the Most Value out of Our Limited Time? 127

11. Question 11. How Can Executive Sessions Help the Board Own Up? 137

12. Question 12. How Can Our Board Self-Evaluation Improve Our Functioning and Our Output? 149

13. Question 13. How Do We Stop from Micromanaging? 163

14. Question 14. How Prepared Are We to Work with Activist Shareholders and Their Proxies? 173

About the Author 187

Acknowledgments 189

Index 191

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