Governance researchers and some more forward thinking directors have known something for a long while: that boards can add considerable value to business. However, most directors see their role on the board as being one of monitoring and compliance—to keep the chief executive honest and make sure they don't take the company to rack and ruin.
Calls for boards to put their energy into things that actually matter—leadership and strategy—are becoming commonplace now. Here's one recent example. I have been writing about it for some time as well (see here and here for examples). My doctoral research suggests that boards that are actively involved in strategic management practices (the development of strategy in particular) are more likely to influence business performance than those that embrace the monitor and control mindset. Thankfully, the basic principles of strategy haven't changed much in 30 years, so directors should find it relatively straightforward to come to up speed—but only if they want to.
Clearly, the drum is beating. How will you respond?
If you'd like to understand what an involvement in strategy might mean for your board and business, or you would like some more information, please contact me.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.