A CEO’s Guide to a Much Under-Used Asset: The Board

by Nell Minow for Bnet, June 2nd, 2011.

There are a lot of guides for directors on how to do a better job.  But Beverly Behan has written an excellent and very practical book for CEOs about how to get the most from their boards. Most companies knock themselves out to bring on the most accomplished and knowledgeable board members they can find — and then throw a lot of briefing materials, presentations, and compliance check-lists at them instead of getting the benefit of their expertise on trends and strategy.

Great Companies Deserve Great Boards: A CEO’s Guide to the Boardroom will be out on June 7. Behan gave me a sneak peek into some of her ideas about what CEOs can do to make better use of their boards.

Q: Do most CEOs fail to get the most from their boards? What are they missing?

A: Absolutely. Boards are one of the most underutilized assets in corporate America and there are many issues that need to be addressed to get more value from our corporate boards.

Sometimes, the make-up of the board, itself, is the issue. Most nominating and governance Committee charters frame that committee’s responsibility in mechanical terms: To recruit and/or ce-nominate directors. But in my view, the true mandate of a nominating and governance committee is to provide company shareholders with the optimal slate of directors they can find to govern this company — essentially to put the best possible governance team on the field. (continue reading… )


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