Over the last decade, the role of the board of directors in deciding on potentially value-creating decisions has gained greater prominence. Following extensive board research into the origins, reasons, effects and consequences of boardroom influence of directors, this book prepares directors for playing a more influential role in shaping such decisions.
Boards are only as effective as the relationships their members have with each other. Despite this, many of the published guides on board work do not focus sufficiently on the human dimension of governance, nor has there been a comprehensive understanding of the effect that group membership has on the decision behaviour of the individual director, or vice versa.
The author offers the reader actionable strategies to successfully navigate the complex dynamics that are inevitable when a group of powerful individuals with strong individual identities has to work together. Without a realistic understanding of the silent risks that a suboptimal dynamic may pose to the processes of making critical decisions, boards may find their decision outcomes compromised. Despite the best intentions, such dynamics can have a chilling effect on an individual director’s contribution, marginalising or diminishing the value of their contribution and their influence on the board.
This book will be a valuable resource guide for aspiring and experienced company directors wishing to strengthen their effectiveness in the advisory role and develop a more influential voice in shaping the strategic direction of their companies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I 1 The board’s role and accountability in developing and deciding strategy: the theory and reality 2 Board capital: the source of director influence, perceived relevance and legitimacy to influence 3 The boardroom: decoding the hidden hierarchy and board culture 4 Essential NED skills for strengthening strategic influence 5 Rethinking the leadership of the board Part II 6 Developing a strategically active board 7 The BoardQ approach to board effectiveness, development and renewal 8 Letter from investors—what we expect from boards 9 The future of governance and the ‘fit for future’ board
Meena Thuraisingham, Founder and Principal of BoardQ, a board-level advisory practice, has over 30 years of corporate and consulting experience with global organisations. As a qualified organisational psychologist, her work with top-team and board effectiveness, development and renewal is aimed at strengthening the way organisations are led and governed, and the cultures that result.
"A penetrating and confronting attempt to lift the veil into boardrooms, this work cuts to the chase as to what really drives the nominations processes, how directors develop and hold their sources of power, and why directors seek these roles in the first place. It gives essential guidance to Chairs, Directors and investors alike in Board construction and management." — Patricia Cross, Non-Executive Director, Aviva plc (chair of the remuneration committee, member of both the nominations committee and audit committee), Senior Independent Director, Aviva Investors; Chair, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. Previously Non-Executive Director, Macquarie Group Ltd
"Having recently made the transition from executive leadership to non-executive oversight, I found the book enormously helpful. It provides well researched insight into behaviour around the board table that will be of value to any director who wishes to comprehend the board environment and contribute more effectively. Not least because the book encourages reflection upon one’s own style and influence." — James Darkins, Non-Executive Director, The Crown Estate, previously CEO, TIAA-Henderson Real Estate and Managing Director Property, Henderson Global Investors
"A very timely book that any board member can benefit from reading. The human factor is not talked about enough and often its effect on board effectiveness and decision making processes is under-estimated. No amount of good corporate governance can make a board effective if the individuals around the table are not functioning well individually and/or together. This book provides insightful guidance on developing a superior board culture." —Charlotte Valeur, Chair, Institute of Company Directors, United Kingdom; Member, Primary Markets Group, London Stock Exchange; Non-Executive Director, Laing O’Rourke; Advisory Panel Member, Hampton-Alexander Review