2013                                                                                                                Issue 14


BoardWorks International

Welcome to Issue 14 of Board Works


Welcome to this issue of Board Works.


Perhaps the most important yet vulnerable relationship in the corporate governance environment is that between the board and management. In Are Your Board and Management on the Same Side of the Net? I explore what happens and why when staff, from the chief executive down, feel they have to protect the organisation from its board.


My co-founder of BoardWorks International, Terry Kilmister, and I are often invited to sit as independent outsiders on board appointment panels. We have been comparing notes recently on the way applicants for board roles present themselves. We also been reviewing the advice we give when we mentor board aspirants. Our recent reflections are contained in Pitching for That Spot on the Board. Feedback on our thinking, perhaps even some contrary views, would be most welcome. We don't pretend to have all the answers on this (or anything else we write about!)


Over the many years I have been in and around boardrooms one of my greatest frustrations has been the quality and usefulness of the customary Chief Executive's Report. In my experience many other directors (and even chief executives) share this frustration. In Getting the Chief Executive's Report RightI explore the source of those frustrations and suggest some ways that might produce greater satisfaction and better connection between board and chief executive.


Finally, in what I plan will be a regular exploration of topics related to board dynamics and decision making in future issues, I explore the phenomenon of 'social loafing' in the boardroom (Does Your Board Suffer From 'Social Loafing'?).


Good reading


Graeme Nahkies


In This Issue
Are Your Board and Management on the Same Side of the Net
Pitching for that Spot on the Board
Getting the Chief Executive's Report Right
Does Your Board Suffer From 'Social Loafing ?
Have your Say
Article14A Are Your Board and Management on the Same Side of the Net?


14 Art 1 I was told once by a chief executive that the greatest challenge she faced in her job was the need to protect the organisation from its board. I soon found that other members of the senior management team also thought about the relationship as a matter of damage control. An attitude like this is hard to disguise. Board members experienced the executive team as dismissive and disrespectful.


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Article14BPitching for That Spot on the Board
Article 2 Issue 14Increasingly, boardroom positions are 'skills-based' rather than 'representational' and many vacancies are advertised. Opening up the recruitment process is particularly notable. It encourages greater contestability and transparency. Organisations wishing to strengthen their board can choose from a field of candidates that is potentially larger and far wider than traditional, inwardly focused processes.       
Article14C Getting the Chief Executive's Report Right. 
PapersArt3Issue14It is common for board members and executives alike to express dissatisfaction with board meetings. Among other things, they say that each meeting seems to pass without their board really connecting with the substance of its job.
Article14D Does Your Board Suffer From 'Social Loafing'?

Art 4 Issue 14A common expectation we have of a board (or of any group) is that its capabilities and achievements will be greater than the sum of its parts. On many boards, however, most of the 'heavy lifting' is done by a relatively small sub-set of the group while others contribute comparatively little. 


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"What you do with the future means the difference between leaving a track record and leaving a legacy."


John Maxwell


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