Power is an interesting dimension of human behaviour. It can (and often does) bring out the best and the worst in us, and in those around us. The question of where power could or should be held has been the topic of much debate—wars even—over the centuries.
In the modern corporate context, the CEO generally occupies the alpha male (queen bee) position in a company, especially in jurisdictions where the CEO and Chair roles are combined. In such cases, the board is relegated to the relatively passive position of making those decisions it has to, and to monitoring performance. Many CEOs like it this way—they are happy to hold the power and privilege that go with the position.
An increasing number of calls, in academia and practice, are starting to challenge the status quo. However, calls for the board to take responsibility and be accountable for business performance, by becoming more involved in direction setting and strategy development, may have an unintended consequence: a power struggle. Power struggles are generally negative, because they move one's attention from the overall goal (business performance) to a lesser goal (being in control).
I'd value your thoughts on these important questions!
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.