From hardly rating a mention a few decades ago, boards are now newsworthy. Questionable practices and failures of various kinds have seen boards become highly topical; targets of both curiosity and criticism in the business media, regulators and, increasingly, the wider public. A plethora of corporate governance codes and 'best practice' recommendations have been produced, but most are yet to have their intended effect. What's more, many well-intentioned directors say they have become confused about the appropriate role of the board, what corporate governance is and how it should be practiced.
Clearly, corporate governance is in troubled waters.
I have joined a group to do something about it. The "Future of the Board" is a new research-based initiative dedicated to getting to the root of some of the problems that beset boards, and to producing rigorous guidance to help boards achieve better outcomes.
The global two-year programme of research and conference-style events is being conducted under the aegis of the Strategic Management Forum. The launch event will be held in March in London (13 March) and Edinburgh (15 March). For more details, including how to register, check the Future of the Board website.
The following eight main themes will be explored over the two-year period:
My role is to chair the initiative. This includes overseeing nine significant conference-based events (the launch event plus eight subsequent events); chairing an advisory panel of up to 24 international experts; and, ensuring meaningful insights and recommendations are published in a form that is readily accessible by boards and directors around the world (most probably a series of articles and booklets).
This is exciting initiative, with the potential to change the way boards work! If you would like to know more or become involved in some way, please get in touch.
Thoughts on corporate purpose, strategy and governance; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.