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Creating an Agile Board of Directors

March 18, 2018 • LEADERSHIP, Corporate Governance

By Patrick Dailey and Joel Koblentz

As the impulse of industry players to stay ahead of the competition skyrockets, how will you drive superior performance towards greater value creation? In this article, the authors highlight the significance of having an agile board in an organisation and elaborate on the critical role of the Chairman in navigating the company through board agility towards a strategic direction.

 

Shareholders are poorly served by boards that provide “wait and see” oversight. The directors serving these passive boards increasingly find themselves in the cross hairs of activists, proxy advisory firms and major investors. They provide little “lift” to the shareholders they serve and the corporations they oversee.

Directors continue to face tumultuous corporate and personal change – 70% of the top 20 companies in the F1000 disappeared during the 2003-2013 decade. Only 35% turnover of top 20 companies disappeared in the 1973-1983 decade. Consequently, directors are stepping away from their legacy instincts for policy approval and compliance to become increasingly conscious of their catalytic role in identifying and capturing value more quickly than rivals.

Agile boards must be more capable of changing the rules of the game ahead of their competitors and bring “first mover” advantages to their companies and shareholders.

Agility is the capability that board leadership is pursuing as a foundation for governance fitness and value creation.

An agile board’s role is increasingly one of anticipation and building capability for the future. Directors are being refreshed or re-invented to ensure they are more alert, innovative, better informed, and talented in rapidly pivoting company direction and resources. Agile boards must be more capable of changing the rules of the game ahead of their competitors and bring “first mover” advantages to their companies and shareholders.



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About the Authors

Patrick Dailey, Ph.D. is an industrial and organisational psychologist. He co-founded BoardQuest, a board governance and C-Suite management consultancy addressing talent, team dynamics and organisational performance matters. He has been a Chief Administrative Officer and senior human resources executive for Herbalife, Hewlett-Packard and PepisCo. Patrick can be reached at 310.400.9992/www.boardquest.com

Joel M. Koblentz is the Senior Partner of The Koblentz Group. He is nationally recognised for resolving clients’ most sensitive, critical and confidential leadership and governance challenges. He advises publicly traded companies and private equity concerns, globally. Currently, Mr. Koblentz is the Chair of Emory University’s Center for Ethics and on the Board of Directors of the Chick-fil-A Bowl Foundation.  He can be reached at jkoblentz@koblentzgroup.com.

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