Problem Solving With the Board of Directors
Management teams run the company, and the board of directors provides governance and direction to do so. That seems simple enough to maintain some role clarity. A useful guiding phrase, repeated often by those with board experience, is “noses in, fingers out.” The meaning of that phrase is that you,Read More
Driving Innovation and the Role of the Board of Directors
Boards of Directors, and the shareholders they represent, always want more innovation from their management teams and the company. But what can they do about it? Boards spend more and more of their time on governance, risk management, compliance, compensation, and other factors, many of which have little to doRead More
The Board of Directors’ Role in the 2020 Crises
2020 has been a year to stress-test people, governments, and companies. On August 19th, 2019, the Business Roundtable shocked many with a statement that the purpose of business was not just to make money for shareholders, but all stakeholders have interests that mattered: “The CEOs of Business Roundtable adopted aRead More
Board of Director Lessons from Theranos
Theranos has captured the attention of many, in part because the hype surrounding its founder reached such massive peaks, and partly because the degree of fraud is on par with 19th-century snake oil salesmen, except on a billion-dollar scale. To be sure, we’ve seen large-scale fraud or misconduct before. WeRead More
Are boards of directors focused on strategy?
Theoretically, each higher-level of management should be increasingly long-term focused. That certainly includes the role of the board, who with their role on shareholder value and governance, must ensure that the short-term doesn’t crowd out the long-term. CGMA summarized two surveys assessing boards and the barriers to strategic oversight. TheirRead More
Solving (or embracing?) conflicts of interest
I’ve had to resolve many conflicts of interest over the years. I’ve always felt uneasy about them, and often went to extremes just to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest. Then someone said something to me that really got me thinking: “If you don’t have any conflicts ofRead More
Gemba Academy podcast: Getting the Board on Board with Lean with Jamie Flinchbaugh
While attending the Summit on Lean Leadership by Lean Frontiers in partnership with the Lean Leadership Academy, I was leading a discussion on the lean board of directors. Coming out of the conference, I will produce a paper outlining some of the key thoughts. We discussed 3 aspects of theRead More
Does innovation belong in the scope of a board of directors?
Boards of directors are usually associated with governance issues such as risk management and financial controls. They of course have a major role in strategic direction, either in establishing it, approving, or hiring the right executives who will establish the strategic vision. But does that extend all the way intoRead More
Reflections on 5 years of board service
I’ve written about lean in the boardroom, and plan to write much more on the topic. I recently resigned my post at the Board of Directors of a privately-held company during its turnaround. Upon my planned departure, I wanted to share some of my reflections on this experience, asRead More
Did King’s Dream include diversity in the boardroom?
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, one of the most significant and impactful speeches in American history. There is no question that in 50 years, tremendous progress has been made, and yet not nearly enough. But has this dream come trueRead More