11 Qualities of a Strong Board of Directors

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 12-30-2013 Email

Remember when few people at a company ever actually saw members of the board of directors? How many of them would attend a couple meetings a year and pocket a generous sum for their time? (Nice work if you can get it.…) The recent book, Boards That Lead: When to Take Charge, When to Partner, and When to Stay out of the Way (Harvard Business Review Press), examines the modern-day version of a board—one that's far, far more proactively involved than those of generations past. Authors Ram Charan, Dennis Carey and Michael Useem explain how—as CEOs and C-suiters are asked to become more transparent and responsive to change—that board members are required to do the same. Which means CIOs and other senior managers may very well be spending more time with them. So how do you evaluate whether you're aligned with a strong board or a weak one? You can start with a checklist of the following assessment questions. Charan is a business advisor for executives and directors of companies such as Bank of America, Novartis and General Electric. Carey is vice chairman of Korn Ferry International, specializing in the recruitment of chief executives and corporate directors. Useem is director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at Penn's Wharton School. For more about their book, click here.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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