Over the last few months, I have re-read quite a few books and articles about models of governance, to see how my doctoral research might build on the suggestions of earlier contributors. Many years ago my father taught me that building on the work of others is smart, but only when the prior work is solid—a stable foundation being crucial to anything that follows.
The "Learning Board", developed and suggested by Bob Garratt nearly twenty years ago, is one of the models that has captured my attention. Garratt published his suggestions in a profoundly titled book The Fish Rots from the Head (3rd edition). Garratt highlights four key tasks of directors within the context of a board's lifecycle:
He suggests that boards need to balance four intellectual viewpoints simultaneously in order to achieve the four key tasks. When they do, overall effectiveness can be enhanced.
I found this to be very helpful, because it provides a useful context for my work (an investigation of how boards can influence company performance, and the influence of strategic decision-making). Regardless of my efforts though, I commend Garratt's book to aspiring and established directors. It's easy to read, and logical in its approach to the topic.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.