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Boards That Deliver: Advancing Corporate Governance From Compliance to Competitive Advantage Hardcover – Feb 3 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (Feb. 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787971391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787971397
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #219,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"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 governance—that 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 judgments—and explains clearly and succinctly how boards can solve those problems. These battle-tested solutions help boards achieve what rules and regulations alone cannot—to 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e192e58) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e19ba5c) out of 5 stars Helpful guidance for boards that want to be more than rubber stamps for their CEO March 28 2008
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is targeted for those of you who sit on boards, might yet sit on boards, or have an interest in how boards can and should function in the post Sarbanes-Oxley world. After the high profile implosions of several major firms and the revelations of executive criminality, board negligence, and accounting failures, the relevant parties have put pressure on firms to do a better job of functioning in the best interests of the owners of the firm; the shareholders. Among other steps, this included making the boards more independent of the CEO (who was too often also the Chair of the board) and the executive management of the firm.

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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e19bab0) out of 5 stars Read this to demystify the world of the Board May 20 2008
By Mark P. McDonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Board rooms are one of the last bastions of secrecy in today's increasingly transparent world. Talking with the board often causes people to talk in hushed tones and reverence. However, Charan's book reminds us that Boards consist of people with responsibilities to discharge and tools to use. This book is a must read for every executive to remind them of the foundational elements that run the company: customers, cash flow, leverage, etc. Too often we lose sight of these things as we work day to day.

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e19bd8c) out of 5 stars A valuable contribution to the evolution of board effectiveness Oct. 24 2009
By J Garland McLellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every so often you meet someone who has the ability to state things with such clarity that they appear instantly obvious and simple. Ram Charan is one of those people. His lucid descriptions evoke real situations with all their rich complexity of detail but without any of the clutter that prevents directors from decisive value adding action.

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 [...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e19bc84) out of 5 stars Exceptional Resource Jan. 19 2014
By Edward J. Barton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charan is one of the leading experts in board governance and best practices. In this easy to read and thought provoking look at board dynamics, Charan takes the reader through the evolution of a board from ceremonial to progressive. Along the way, he provides a road map of pitfalls to avoid, questions to ask, structures to recommend and best practices to follow to ensure that the board takes the right steps to govern effectively.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e19be70) out of 5 stars Insights on board development April 25 2008
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A spate of high-profile corporate meltdowns ended the days of high-flying CEOs who also ran their companies' boards of directors. Instead, regulators, shareholders and the public now demand that corporate boards oversee CEOs and protect shareholder interests. Ram Charan lays out what your board can do to maximize its positive contributions and add value to the company. His writing is clear and to the point. This book is very helpful for board members who are trying to find their way in the post Sarbanes-Oxley world of corporate governance. Charan provides useful questionnaires to help you analyze the state of your company and its board on several crucial points. getAbstract recommends this book to board members, potential board members, and others who have an interest in modern boards and corporate governance.