Ken Freeman’s recent Harvard Business Review article, “How to Make Sure Your Board Sets a Good Example for Your Company,” shines a spotlight on the influence board members have in shaping and modeling a healthy culture. Board behavior includes everything from the way a board conducts meetings to the quality and character of its discourse to the frequency and honesty of its self-assessments of effectiveness. Freeman provides practical and insightful guidance on how board members can be most effective stewards of an organization’s purpose and values.
Freeman is Dean Emeritus of the Boston University Questrom School of Business and a Center for Higher Ambition (CHL) Board
Previously published resources from CHL in this area include:
- “Higher‐Ambition CEOs Need Higher‐Ambition Boards,” 2015, also published in Directorship, explores how CEOs and Boards can work together to build long-term economic health in an organization across multiple generations of CEOs. It emphasizes the importance of boards building their own capabilities, as well as monitoring their own performance and effectiveness. (Written by CHL Board members Ed Ludwig and Michael Beer with Elise Walton)
- Board Self-Assessment: Setting a Higher Ambition Direction – Ludwig, Beer and Walton also created an assessment to help boards identify where they are along a continuum for three important dimensions: performance management, strategy and board stewardship.
- “The New Governance Paradigm: The Board’s New Role in Ensuring Healthy, High Performing Firms,” 2009, Directorship, challenges boards to consider a different set of measures. The article calls for a fundamental shift from a predominant focus on financial performance to a broader definition of health that includes the quality of the corporation’s relations with key stakeholders. (Authored by Nathaniel Foote and Michael Beer)