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Boards That Deliver: Advancing Corporate Governance From Compliance to Competitive Advantage Hardcover – Feb 3 2005
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"Boards today are striving to improve in a very dynamic environment. Based on years of hands on experience and building on the breakthrough ideas of Boards at Work, Charan provides practical, actionable ideas to move boards to a higher level of performance¾to make a step change improvement in the quality of their governance. It's a must read for new and experienced directors alike."
—John A. Krol, lead director, Tyco; director, MeadWestvaco and Ace Insurance; former CEO and chairman, Dupont; and NACD Director of the Year in 1998
"By detailing the evolution of board dynamics in the post-Sabanes-Oxley environment and providing insight into new best practices, Ram Charan has developed a comprehensive guide to creating and maintaining a next-generation board. These pages will help every executive stay ahead of the curve—with winning strategies for prospective board members, as well as for executives trying to develop their boards and management teams."
—Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO, Verizon
"For boards, this is it—the guide every director needs, from the world authority on how real boards work today."
—Geoffrey Colvin, senior editor at large, Fortune magazine; co-host, Fortune Boardroom Forum; and co-anchor, Wall Street Week with Fortune
"This excellent book will help countless managers and directors. A practical masterpiece!"
—Richard H. Brown, director, Home Depot and DuPont
"I offer high praise for Boards That Deliver, the latest creation from the fertile mind of Ram Charan! Timely, relevant, and succinct—this could be Charan’s best work to date."
—William T. Solomon, chairman of the board, Austin Industries
From the Inside Flap
Finally, a book that brings the vision of truly good governance down to earth. Ram Charan, expert in corporate governance and best-selling author, packs this book with useful tools and techniques to take boards and their companies to a higher level of performance. Charan puts his finger on a growing problem for boards: the disconnect between directors' efforts and their results. The added time and attention boards invest is not translating into better governancethat is, governance that adds value to the business.
Boards That Deliver gets beyond the rhetoric of corporate governance reform. It captures the tried-and-true practices used by high-performance boards. In contrast to experts who base prescriptions on number-crunching exercises, Charan identifies the real problems that drain directors' time and suppress their best judgmentsand explains clearly and succinctly how boards can solve those problems. These battle-tested solutions help boards achieve what rules and regulations alone cannotto get succession right, refine a winning strategy, and design a rational CEO compensation package.
Good governance requires leadership. Boards That Deliver is the no-nonsense guide for directors and CEOs who are rising to the leadership challenge to make their boards a competitive advantage.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Ram Charan explains how firms can `evolve' from being an old style Ceremonial Board to become a Liberated Board and then grow into an active and effective Progressive Board. He emphasizes that Progressive Boards have to emphasize the Group Dynamics of the board (how the team works together and how synergistically their talents combine), the Information Systems they use (relevant information they can get outside what is packaged for them by the CEO), and that the board focus on meaningful and relevant issues rather than getting distracted by the minutiae of board processes.
The author explains each of these three qualities in detail and deals with issues of CEO selection, management, and succession. He also talks about how the board should function when it has fully `evolved'. Charan also provides a few helpful questionnaires you can use to determine how your company is doing in certain key areas.
An interesting and helpful book for the target audience.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
The book is written in a highly accessible style with just enough tools to help executives understand board dynamics, information and success factors. This makes it an ideal book to pick up for a long plane flight or a weekend to upgrade your knowledge and skills.
Sarbanes Oxley and board oversight concerns were the genesis for this book as boards move from what Charan calls Ceremonial to Progressive. However, Charan writes about practices for effective boards helping this book stand the test of time.
In a world where there are fads, changing strategies and constant pressure, executives need to take some time out to reinforce what matters and get back to basics. This is one of those books that everyone should pick up and read.
Don't be fooled; this is not a simple book. The writing is terse but the insight is deep and the suggestions for improvement are well founded in practical experience. The book discusses the evolution in board dynamics, information architecture and focus on substantive issues that will allow boards to move from a `ceremonial' role, through a process of liberation to a state that Charan refers to as `progressive'.
In my work advising boards I have encountered many that struggle with the symptoms of `liberated' boards. The frequent digressions from what is really important, the time wasted on trivia, the personal interests, the revisiting of old arguments and the rewriting of former agreements that frustrate so many boards are exposed in all their hideous familiarity. Charan's descriptions of this state arouse sympathy without descending into excuse-making, patronising or blaming the board. He just accurately states what is wrong and what that can cost the organisation before going on to describe how to correct practices and make a quantum leap in board effectiveness.
I meet few `ceremonial' boards in my line of work; it could be that those boards would never invite me into their midst or just that there are less of them now that individual directors are becoming more professional and diligent in their roles. However, the descriptions do hold true and the process for moving from a passive board to a liberated one is well and clearly set out in the book.
The real value in this book is its practical assistance in making that step change from a group of great and well-intentioned individuals to a board with a collective viewpoint and will. It allows for efficiency and focus that take the company into forward-looking strategic issues without over-stressing the hard-working executive team.
The final jewel in this book is the section on contributions that count. It is a great resource for any director and should be legislated as required reading for all Chairmen.
This is a practical and succinct book that I return to often. It has something of value for every board that I have worked with. On a scale of one to five this is definitely a ten!
* Julie Garland McLellan is a professional non-executive director, board and governance consultant and mentor. She is the author of "The Director's Dilemma", "All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector" and numerous articles on corporate strategy and governance. You can find out more at [...]
Having both served on and worked for boards that covered the gamut of ineffective to progressive, I cannot recommend this book enough. I have read, and reviewed, more than a few books on corporate governance and board dynamics, and this one ranks at or near the top of the most useful, relevant and specific resources out there. It is a must read for any board member or CEO.
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